More often than not, a legacy needs just one thing to hold it firm. Be it a voice, an idea, a line of poetry or a cinematic statement, myth can be born out of even the most minor. It can also rise from the misunderstood. Back in the early ‘80s, when rap was just getting a hold of the pop cultural zeitgeist, a trio of white boys decided to show their skills and flaunt ethnic acceptance. Initially viewed as a novelty, The Beastie Boys soon became a benchmark, a linking verb between the incendiary urban message of the current music and party animal element it would come to be known for. Indeed, the combination of East Coast antics and knucklehead novelty made the guys an initial hit. Two decades dedicated to the true art of hip hop turned them into icons.
Now, with the untimely and tragic passing of Adam “MCA” Yauch from cancer at age 47, one of the defining groups from rap’s original ascent is no more. Even worse, the death throws the eccentric offshoot of the man’s muse - Oscilloscope Laboratories - into flux. Last week, a shake-up of sorts was announced when President David Fenkel (who used to run THINKFilm) stepped down, making way for Dan Berger and David Laub to run the company. Both had previous roles in marketing, distribution and acquisitions. Oddly enough, none knew how sick Yauch really was (he had recently been a no show at the Beastie’s induction into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame). In light of current events, Fenkel announced that he will remain closely linked to the organization, acting as a consultant.