The legendary Beastie Boys became just the third hip-hop act to be anointed into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday evening (April 14) in Cleveland.
While the trio were set to perform, the planned show was cut, last minute, following an announcement that group member MCA was unable to attend. However, a tribute performance came instead (see below), featuring their longtime DJ, Mix Master Mike, Kid Rock, Black Thought (The Roots), and Travie McCoy (Gym Class Heroes).
“Beastie Boys regret that Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch will be unable to join Mike ‘Mike D’ Diamond and Adam ‘Ad-Rock’ Horovitz at the band’s induction into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame,” an official statement said, which released hours before the event.
“Mike, Adam and Adam are truly grateful for the honor but with only two of the three Beastie Boys attending, they will unfortunately not be able to perform at the ceremony,” the statement continued.
Why he was unable to appear was unknown at press time. But, Yauch has kept a low profile since 2009, when news surfaced, revealing his battle with cancer of the salivary gland.
Members Mike D and Ad-Rock, however, were on-hand to accept the honor. In their acceptance speech, the duo read a thank-you from their absent comrade, who told fans, “This induction is as much ours as it us yours.”
Public Enemy frontman Chuck D inducted the legendary New York trio, and praised the group for breaking down boundaries and widening hip-hop’s appeal. “It broke the mold,” he said. “The Beastie Boys are indeed three bad brothers who made history. They brought a whole new look to rap and hip-hop. They proved that rap could come from any street — not just a few.”
The Beasties have been mixing rock, rap, soul, punk and funk for more than 30 years, and helped cross hip-hop over into the mainstream when they dropped their 1986 classic, Licensed To Ill, which boasts tracks like “Fight for Your Right”, “Brass Monkey,” “Paul Revere,” and “No Sleep Til Brooklyn.”
Over the years, the trio has become living legends, dropping 10 LPs in all, their last being 2011’s Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.
In addition to the Beastie Boys, Gun N’ Roses (minus frontman Axl Rose), the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Freddie King, and others were also inducted.