It still feels hard to believe. Friday's news about the passing of MCA (Adam Yauch) of The Beastie Boys shocked nearly everyone, forcing us to confront mortality and look back on the group's lasting legacy.
"At first, I didn't want to believe it, then came shock and, lastly, my heart sank down into my stomach. I was just so saddened by his passing," says Sam Wiley of local hip-hop group The Wiley One. "As a huge fan, I kept up with his original diagnosis and I thought he was going to be okay."
Wiley has been performing a cover of "Intergalatic" at parties and private events for the past few years, but has never released it as a single until now, as a tribute to MCA. He had some studio time lined up, so he contacted Sam Diggy from Planet X to ask if he wanted to help out. The end result was Sam Wiley and Sam Diggy's cover of "Intergalactic," which combines original clips from the song with The Wiley One's signature upbeat/acoustic rap sound.
The Wiley One's is scheduled to perform on Thursday, May 10 at The Roxy Lounge.
Listen to "Intergalactic" and read about The Beastie Boys' impact on Sam Wiley and Sam Diggy after the jump.
"We were in the lab working the day of Adam's death, chopped it up with Wiley, and he played me a crazy riff while singing 'Intergalactic,'" says Sam Diggy. "I was like, 'Oh, shit, this a dope tribute song. Let's lay it!' Ever since we've met back in high school, this kid was a Beastie fan, but then again who wasn't a fan?"
Including some of MCA's lines in the cover was a natural decision for Sam Wiley. "I realized that I wanted to keep a few of the original MCA verses as a way to show respect so that people understand this is a tribute song from true fans," he said.
A link to childrenscancer.org is included with the free download of "Intergalactic" in an effort to raise cancer awareness: "Nothing goes to us. We are simply encouraging people to donate to Childrens' Cancer or get involved any way they can," says Wiley. "We want to spread more cancer awareness and ChildrensCancer.org is a great organization with an amazing message."
The Beastie Boys are a lasting influence on The Wiley One: "Honestly, without The Beastie Boys, I don't know if I would be doing music right now. I have every single record they've ever put out and I saw them live for the first time at age 14 and it changed my life. MCA was a huge influence to myself and the band. I mean, their records kind of helped raise us. We grew up on them and watched them grow as well. In the end 'Intergalactic' changed hip-hop forever and it's one of my favorite songs of all time. We wanted to pay tribute to MCA musically and let our fans know how much MCA and The Beastie Boys meant to us," says Wiley.
Diggy agrees: "When I heard the news about MCA's death I was in disbelief -- not another legend. Hip-hop has lost a lot of great talented rappers over the years and to lose a Pioneer of the culture makes you sit back and appreciate where they (Beastie Boys) took hip-hop. Another dimension. Without MCA there wouldn't be no Beastie Boys, and without the Beastie Boys there wouldn't be no Wiley One or Planet X. Salud!"