I was talking to two of my students the other day about the music I listen to, or used to listen to, and somehow I failed to mention The Beastie Boys, even though they owned me for more than a decade. How did that happen? The best explanation I can muster besides early onset dementia is that, while I no longer listen to them actively (though I did jog to “No Sleep “Til Brooklyn” yesterday!), The Beastie Boys are so much a part of who I am that I don’t recognize them as separate from myself. I’m kind of joking, but I’m also kind of…not. License to Ill, Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, and Ill Communication were the soundtracks to my childhood and adolescence–shout out to my older sister for hooking me up at 7.

I am a little bit beside myself. MCA–you were awesome. Thank you for making my world, and many other people’s, a much better place.

Update: It’s so nice to read all the  tributes that are flooding the internet. Two of most surprising are tweets from NY politicians Mike Bloomberg and Chuck Shumer. Let’s pretend their interns didn’t write them.

ChuckSchumer Born and Bred in Brooklyn, U.S.A., they call him Adam Yauch, but he’s M.C.A. RIP Adam. #beastieboys #nosleeptillbrooklyn
Chuck Schumer
2 hours ago
MikeBloombergThanks to artists like him #RIPMCA // RT @BenjySarlin: MCA a timely reminder that New York is more awesome than everywhere else
2 hours ago