Listen To The Sure Shot Verse From MCA’s Career Through Large Professor’s Remix (Video)
Five years ago today (May 4, 2012), the world was shocked to learn about the death of Adam “MCA” Yauch. It is a loss that Hip-Hop is very much still mourning. The co-founder of the Beastie Boys impacted lives on and off the microphone, across mediums. However, from Tibetan Freedom Concerts and film production companies, to other causes and ventures, MCA always remained an MC at his core. Despite four #1 albums (one which has reached diamond certification following Yauch’s death), he as well as Mike D and Ad Rock stayed plugged into the current Hip-Hop landscape.
In 1994, the Beastie Boys were back on top of the pack. Ill Communication, released in May of that year, would position the New York City trio conveniently, and evenly between Hip-Hop and Punk Rock. As acts like Green Day and Offspring were approaching the horizon line of the mainstream, the Beasties subtly asserted their place as Punkers going back to the pre-Def Jam days. Even with guitars, screaming, and an evolved sense of style, they were mic rockers as well, with nearly a decade in the spotlight.
“Sabotage” would set off the campaign in January for “the green tape.” With an unforgettable Spike Jonze-directed video, the trio slid across cop car hoods and from the Rock stations into Pop-Rap playlists. Follow-up single “Get It Together” merged Beasties with A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip. It was pure Underground Hip-Hop, at a time when the term was not commonplace. These MCs busted raps, basement style, in what presented like a well-produced freestyle. Including D.I.T.C.’s Buckwild on one official remix (released six months ahead of O.C.’s Word…Life for that matter), the third look from Ill Communication was “Sure Shot.”
Here, the Beasties reminded Heads that while they were Punk O.G.’s from the Downtown scene, and could make blunted ’90s raps, they were still from the early ’80s Rap era. With a modern delivery and content, the Beasties squeezed their message into a format that was prevalent in the days when they traded guitars for turntables. The song also featured one of the finest verses from Adam Yauch’s career:
“I want to say a little something that’s long overdue / The disrespect to women has got to be through / To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends / I want to offer my love and respect to the end / Well you say I’m twenty-something and should be slacking / But I’m working harder than ever and you could call it mackin’ / So I’m supposed to sit upon my couch watching my TV / I’m still listening to wax, I’m not using the CD / I’m that kid in the corner / All fucked up and I want to so I’m gonna / Take a piece of the pie, why not, I’m not quitting / Think I’m gonna change up my style just to fit in / I keep my underwear up with a piece of elastic / I use a bullshit mic that’s made out of plastic / To send my rhymes out to all nations / Like ma bell, I’ve got the ill communications.”
What’s more, when the Boys released the maxi-single in June of ’94, they secured the “ill” remix from Hip-Hop’s hottest producer of the moment: The Large Professor. It was another Beasties connect with Queens, New York sonic genius (following The Abstract). Extra P, a deep student of the game, threw a tight drum and bass arrangement on the track to make the communications sound “illmatic”.
#BonusBeat: The video mix to the original:
In both videos, DJ Hurricane (a longtime fixture within the group and Grand Royal Records, as well as part of The Afros) played a prominent role.