On Saturday (September 9), both Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz and Michael “Mike D” Diamond were in attendance at the christening of Beastie Boys Square — at the intersection of Ludlow and Rivington in New York City’s Lower East Side.
“This is fucking weird,” Horovitz said taking the mic during a live feed of the ceremony. “Thanks everyone for coming out. First of all, I want to thank LeRoy McCarthy — this whole thing, you’ve heard about him by now — this whole thing was his idea. He pushed and pushed to make it happen for the love of rap music. Thank you. We appreciate it.”
“I wanna thank everyone that loves Beastie Boys music,” added Horovitz. “I don’t really understand why, but I know that I love it, so in a way that makes us kind of friends, like we bonded over these weird records, so thank you.”
“Beastie Boys Square” has been unveiled in New York’s Lower East Side. Congrats to the Beastie Boys! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/NJHAoAPUjv
— HipHopDX (@HipHopDX) September 9, 2023
Moving forward, Horovitz took a moment to recognize the “City of New York” and council members who led the charge in bringing Beastie Boys Square to life, as well as cultural advocate LeRoy McCarthy, whose efforts have led to street-namings in honor of the Notorious B.I.G., the Wu-Tang Clan and Tupac, to name a few.
“We walk around these streets and we don’t really think about who they’re named after, right? Ludlow Street, Irving Street, Father Demo Square — 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 fuck is a Beastie Boy and why the fuck do they have a square?’” he concluded.
Meanwhile, Diamond acknowledged the “long road, or a multiyear battle, to make this happen,” before he shouted out his late parents and the LES for embracing them. “We grew up elsewhere, but the Lower East Side was always this cool place that we wanted to go and hang out, and somehow, the Lower East Side was gracious enough to have us and let us see so much incredible music,” he added.
“The second we heard rap music, it was so revolutionary and so exciting, the fact that we somehow got to go from being literally kids listening to every hip-hop record, mixtape, song we could possibly try to memorize every word, thinking that we’d be able to actually make a rap record, and go on to make those rap records, and now here we are all those years later, thank you so much for everything.”
In close — amid a chant from the crowd — Mike D paid tribute to their late bandmate, Adam “MCA” Yauch. “He was our brother on this amazing journey that we all got to go through.”
Talking to DX last month, McCarthy touched briefly on challenges they faced when trying to get Beastie Boys Square off the ground.
“The politics and the community board in Manhattan didn’t think that the Beastie Boys were worthy to be honored with a street name because of their politics. At the time, there was a city council member who was a nice lady but her staff didn’t really entertain the idea of honoring them,” he recalled of his efforts in 2014 in which the ask was defeated by a 24-to-1 vote.
“It wasn’t until we got a new city council and a new city council member, Christopher Martre began representing that same district, that we finally got it approved. He worked with us and it was passed by the city council in 2022. In September 2023, the forthcoming street naming for Beastie Boys will be dedicated in Manhattan.”
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