Always loved MCA’s opening couplet on “Pass the Mic:
If you can feel what I’m feeling then it’s a musical masterpiece
If you can hear what I’m dealing with then that’s cool at least
That’s a key goal of art, right? I have a feeling, I want to convey it. I make something. I want you to feel what what I’m feeling. When it happens, I’ve accomplished something. But it if doesn’t happen, well, I’m grateful that you took the time to check it out.
I wrote a piece about MCA for Pitchfork yesterday afternoon and at the end I mentioned “Futterman’s Rule” (“When two are served, all may eat”). I talked about how in the 1990s it was a tradition among my group of friends that we would all get together for Thanksgiving and I used to bust out Futterman’s Rule when it was time to serve the meal. My friend Jim, whom I haven’t seen since 1999, posted on my Facebook wall in response to this piece, and said he has fond memories of those Thanksgivings and still follows Futterman’s Rule to this day. It lives!
You really gotta download this Grand Royal mixtape. Does a great job finding threads through different parts of their career and it flows beautifully. Toward the end is a recording of Biz Markie covering Elton John’s “Bennie & the Jets”. It’s such a great joke. Earlier today I burst out laughing listening to it on the subway. This is how every kid from the 70s remembers this song, and how all of us sang it. Hearing Biz do it is like one deeply buried memory communicating directly with another.
Along with Woody Allen, the Beastie Boys were the great enablers of my lifelong romantic obsession with New York City. Paul’s Boutique made the idea of being young and fucking around with your friends in the city seem like the greatest thing one could ever be doing at a given moment (which, hey, it’s one of them.) They made it extra easy for me to connect to because so much of the Beastie Boys’ own obsession with their home town was channeled through media. “Welcome Back Kotter” and “Pellham 123”—I saw those things and thought of NY and, judging from their songs, so did they.
“Jump the turnstile, never pay the toll.” If I were to try jumping a turnstile today I’d end up in the hospital. And now I finally live in Brooklyn, and five months after I get here, MCA is dead.