"Now, here's a little story I got to tell, about three bad brothers
you know so well/it started way back in history/with Ad-Rock, MCA, and
Number three: Mike D."
There is no adequate measure for the IMpact that the Beastie Boys had
on Public Enemy during our formative years. They were our ROLE
models. They gave us some of our richest support, and
uncharacteristic of many advisors in this game, they led by EXAMPLE.
The very first time the Beastie Boys headlined their own tour - the
Licensed to Ill tour that hit the road in January of 1987 - they
invited us to join the bill. The line-up was the Beasties, Public
Enemy, and Murphy's Law. Watching them tear it up... night after night...
I learned so MUCH about the importance of a great stage show. THEY
made me RE-think what Public Enemy was supposed to be doing
onstage...and afFIRMED for me how imPORTANT our OWN Beastie Boy - who
calls himself Flavor Flav - might be to our success. In that way,
the Beastie Boys LITerally helped us to get OUR act together by MORE
than living up to their name, night after night on the road. They
were - and still ARE - one of the greatest live acts in music.
How could we NOT Learn from way this group has CHALLENGED the
conventions in the music business?...How they made their OWN rules about
what it meant to be world class hip hop cats. After Licensed to Ill,
the Beasties left the Def Jam label, and broke with their producer,
Rick Rubin. EVERYONE wondered - and many people were pessimistic -
about how the HELL they were going to top their multi-platinum debut.
But their second album, Paul's Boutique broke the mold. With it, they
accomplished EVERYTHING they'd hoped for. They kept their band
together through a challenging period, when most groups would have
broken up and gone home. They proved that they could produce
themSELVES when too many folks wrongly believed they were Rick's
puppets. And they inSISted on maturing as a band and as human beings
when the easier thing would have been to come back with a formula that
might have been Licensed to Ill 2.0. It was that COURAGE and
SELF-RESPECT that Public Enemy learned from, and so like them, we made
SURE NEVER to take the easy way out just to repeat a hit record, never
to compromise our faith in ourSELVES and in our ARTISTRY.
One of the MOST ADmirable qualities about the Beastie Boys is that
they've stayed so TRUE to the game over the years, no matter WHAT was
going on - with THEM, or hip-hop culture in GENERAL. As far as I'M
concerned, the trend towards individualism in hip-hop has become a
PLAGUE. It has CRIPpled the art form. Yet through it all, the
Beasties remain a TEAM of emcees, in the STYLE of the groups that
INSPIRED them: the Treacherous Three, the Crash Crew, and the 2009
inductees, Run-DMC. And let us not forget their DJs throughout the
years: Andre "Doctor Dre" Brown, DJ Hurricane; Mixmaster Mike, and DJ
Double R, better known as Rick Rubin. In rock'n'roll, a band still
gotta be a band. It's the same thing with hip-hop, and the Beasties
remain a model for us ALL. BE together. PLAY together. STAY
together. ToGETHER forEVER.
Time and again, in word and in practice, the Beastie Boys HONOR
hip-hop's founding templates. As true musicians, they move beyond
drum machines and repetitive samples, and sometimes pick up their own
instruments. It's their way of paying TRIBUTE to the musicians who
PRECEDED them, who built the founDAtions for hip-hop.
More than many, many groups, The Beasties have evolved. In
particular, I'm thinking of someone who wasn't able to join us tonight
-- Adam Yauch, better known as MCA. But I feel him here tonight,
because he belongs here with the GREATEST. It was MCA who COMMITTED
the Beasties to their lengthy campaign for freedom for Tibet, a
campaign that not only helped to shine a light on Tibet's struggle for
independence, but allowed the Beasties to move from fighting for their
right to party... to partying for their right to fight.
No matter their lyrical subjects or their onstage parodies, ONE thing
The Beastie Boys never were was a joke. They REMIND US that this is a
CRAFT... not a hustle. I couldn't be more HONORED to INDUCT this group,
because they represent the BEST of the hip hop and rap music. I dig,
love, and always THANK them for doing the hard work of PAVING those
roads... for musicians all over the world to rock rap and roll on......
ESPECIALLY before people took us seriously as artists.
May we ALL be as PROFESSIONAL, DISTINCTIVE, POWERFUL, AND GROUND
BREAKING as THIS group right here. The BEASTIE BOYS are INDEED "three
bad brothers." Who MADE history.