Root Down

May 4th, 2012. Where were you, and what were you doing when the death of Adam Yauch was announced on the news? I was in New York, riding on a bus from the airport with my girlfriend and grandmother back to the apartment. I was checking up on some scores from the NBA games that I had missed from the previous night, and when I saw the headlines on MSN, I felt the sudden urge to hijack the bus and drive it all the way from Queens to Brooklyn in a matter of seconds. Impossible, I know, just wishful thinking.

On previous trips up to the Big Apple, I would venture to Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan, South St Seaport, Central Park, hit up both MoMA and The Met. But on the handful of visits to Brooklyn I would secretly hope to bump into any of the Beastie Boys. Hell, even all three would’ve been fantastic. Even though Adam is gone, I’d still like to meet Mike D and Ad Rock.

I did a piece a few days later when I got back home to honor his life, music, and how much inspiration I have drawn from the group’s music. The end result was a decent image, graffiti style letters spelling out the band’s name and at the bottom, Yauch’s alias: MCA. A photo of the three members I found online was used to merge the lettering to the image via Photoshop. It’s on my Digital Art page. In any case, I didn’t really like the lettering I had used, like there was something lacking or maybe the colors I had used. I don’t know, but now fast forward to a year later and it’s the second anniversary of his death. This time around I hit up on an idea for a memorial piece to honor him. And damn it, I was gonna make it better than last year’s! I found a picture of him with a scruffy beard, eyes staring out at the viewer, and hands open, as if he was holding an invisible basketball. I drew the image, concentrating on the face, and not so much on the hands and clothing.
The last part was scanning the drawing, then adding text behind him to several of my favorite Beastie songs, and between his hands MCA, both lyrics and name written in two graffiti fonts I found a while back.

Ch-ch-check it out..

Last year’s piece


And this year’s…in edit mode on Photoshop


Final piece:



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