MCA, Ad-Rock and Mike D pushed the boundaries of hip hop to define an era – but their playful demeanor was just as influential.

This article titled “Adam Yauch and the indestructible spirit of the Beastie Boys” was written by Dorian Lynskey, for guardian.co.uk on Friday 4th May 2012 19.39 UTC

When the Beastie Boys signed to Def Jam in 1985 they were white, Jewish, well-to-do former punks who had only recently moved into rap. They could have been a laughing stock. It's a testament to the strength and idiosyncrasy of their music that they didn't just make the biggest-selling rap album of the 80s (Licensed to Ill), but earned the respect of their tougher and more streetwise hip hop peers.

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