Ad-Rock Describes Post-Beastie Boys Life, New Film With Ben Stiller

In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz sat down to reflect on his past as a member of Beastie Boys as well as to give insight on what the future holds for his entertainment career now that the legendary Hip-Hop trio has not only put their founder and brother, Adam “MCA” Yauch to rest, but also their lives as they have known them to be.

It’s been almost three years since the untimely passing of MCA, Horovitz’s admitted best friend and founder of Beastie Boys. Since that day, he’s had to cope with not touring, recording or spending whole days with childhood friends, a process that, Horovitz says, has left a “huge hole” in his life.


“It’s probably just taken me time to sit and think and try to figure out what I do next or who I am now or, you know, all of that stuff. Because since high school, I was in this band. And you know, it’s one thing when you’re in a band in high school, but then to have it last for so long— that’s who I am and what I did forever,” he says. “And so now I’m just trying to figure it out. “

MCA’s death isn’t the first hardship Horovitz has had to face regarding his loved ones. He lost his mother when he was only 12 due to causes related to long-term illness and alcohol abuse. He has been caring for his wife, Le Tigre front-woman and feminist activist Kathleen Hanna, since her 2005 diagnosis of a severe case of Lyme Disease, a battle that has has spanned the totality of their marriage.

Regarding the Beasties, Horovitz notes that one of his biggest regrets is giving birth to the infamous “backwards baseball cap guys.” Reflecting on that mid-’80s, Licensed To Ill-era Beasties persona, Ad-Rock describes a sense of “white privilege,” telling GQ, “Being a straight white guy in his, like, early twenties—there’s some sort of thing about it. A sort of privilege, a sort of anger or something. You just say some really stupid things.”

Though he jokes that he’s been spending his days doing nothing but smoking, drinking and eating pizza, Ad-Rock hasn’t necessarily been sitting on his hands. He’s co-starring in the new major motion picture While We’re Young, in a role where he, ironically, is constantly encouraging the main character (played by lead Ben Stiller) to “Just grow up.” He’s also collaborating with Michael Diamond (Better known as Mike D) on a Beastie Boys memoir that’s due this year and has actually been in the works since early 2013. Additionally, Ad-Rock—who dug for records and produced on Beasties’ and other projects since the late 1980s, was among the first established artists to extend support to Harlem’s Ratking, remixing “Canal” last Summer.

Though Horovitz’s plans for the future are still a bit hazy, he’s certain that they’re going to involve making music. He expresses intentions to release a wealth of Beastie Boys recordings that have yet to be heard by the public, but as for as any new material from the two surviving ill communicators?

“We’re done,” he assures GQ, frankly, “Oh yeah. Adam Yauch started the band. It’s not like a thing where we could continue without him.”

The intimate two-page GQ interview by Zach Barron is worth the read, especially given the scarcity of straightforward Ad-Rock interviews.

Related: Beastie Boys’ Licensed To Ill Album Certified Diamond By The RIAA, A 1980s Rap First!