'Beastie Boys Square' unveiled in New York City’s Lower East Side

New York City pays tribute to one of its iconic hip-hop acts: Beastie Boys

Portrait Of Beastie Boys
Portrait Of Beastie Boys / Lynn Goldsmith/GettyImages

Ad-Rock and Mike D, members of the iconic hip-hop (and sometimes punk rock) group Beastie Boys, celebrated a significant milestone on September 9, 2023. They were present at the unveiling and christening of "Beastie Boys Square," located at the intersection of Ludlow and Rivington in New York City's Lower East Side—the location of the Paul’s Boutique album cover. This event marked a tribute to the group's legacy (from the 1980s to today) and their roots in New York City.

During the live ceremony, Ad-Rock expressed his gratitude to LeRoy McCarthy, who played a pivotal role in making Beastie Boys Square a reality. He also thanked their fans, acknowledging the unique bond created through their music. Ad-Rock went on to appreciate the City of New York and the council members who were instrumental in bringing the street-naming project to fruition.

The Beastie Boys have come a long way

Ad-Rock reflected on the significance of having a square named after the Beastie Boys for future generations: “We walk around these streets and we don’t really think about who they’re named after, right?...but it makes me really happy to know that some kid on their way to school 50 years from now is gonna pass by this and look up and be like, ‘What the f*** is a Beastie Boy and why the f*** do they have a square?’”

Mike D also took the opportunity to recognize the long journey and challenges they faced in making Beastie Boys Square happen. He expressed appreciation for the Lower East Side, which had a profound impact on their music journey. Mike D shared how the revolutionary nature of rap music had inspired them to pursue a career in hip-hop, leading to their success over the years (though they're not fans of all of their earlier material).

Beastie Boys tribute to MCA

Adam Yauch
Portrait Of Beastie Boys' MCA / Lynn Goldsmith/GettyImages

In a touching moment, Mike D paid tribute to their late bandmate, Adam "MCA" Yauch, highlighting his integral role in their shared musical journey. The event was marked by chants from the crowd and a sense of celebration.

A long road to Beastie Boys Square

The road to creating Beastie Boys Square was not without obstacles, as LeRoy McCarthy mentioned in a previous interview. The project faced challenges with politics and community board approval, with some officials initially opposing the idea of honoring the Beastie Boys with a street name. However, with the support of a new city council member, Christopher Martre, and a change in the political landscape, the street naming was eventually approved by the city council in 2022, leading to its dedication in September 2023.

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