The Beastie Boys lost founding member Adam “MCA” Yauch today, but his memory will live on through the band’s nine amazing albums. The Beasties are known for making boastful, but often brilliant raps, laden with smart and sardonic references. Last year, the folks oer at the A.V. Club went through and explained more than 170 Beasties references. We’ve picked out our ten favorite, after the jump.
1. Brass Monkey (“Brass Monkey,” Licensed To Ill)
Brass Monkey referred to a 40-ounce of malt liquor consumed to the top of the label and then mixed with orange juice or a cocktail made from rum, vodka and orange juice.
2. Carew, Rod (“Sure Shot,” Ill Communication)
Carew was a Hall Of Fame second baseman, whose career stretched from 1967 to 1985 and included long stints with the Minnesota Twins and the California Angels.
3. “‘Cause I’m Pete The Puma, Minnie The Moocher, got every type of flavor that will suit you.” (“Finger Lickin’ Good,” Check Your Head)
Pete The Puma was an obscure Looney Tunes character and “Minnie The Moocher” was a million-selling hit from 1931 by Cab Calloway, who later re-recorded the song for a Betty Boop cartoon.
4. Chateauneuf du Pape (“Body Movin’,” Hello Nasty)
Well ain’t this high class: It’s a red wine from France’s Rhône valley that Food And Wine says offers “immediate gratification both intellectual and hedonistic in nature,” much like the Beasties when they start to rap.
5. Haze, Eric (“Egg Man,” Paul’s Boutique)
A pioneering graffiti artist, Eric Haze later did the cover art for the Beasties’ Check Your Head.
6. “I’m Mike D. and I’m back from the dead” (“Shake Your Rump,” Paul’s Boutique)
The Beasties had such a crazy reputation during their Licensed To Ill tour, that it was rumored that Mike D actually died.
7. Ricky Powell (“Car Thief,” Paul’s Boutique)
Photographer Ricky Powell documented the rise of Def Jam in the late ’80s and hosted the cable access talk show Rappin’ With The Rickster from 1990-96. It’s a must-watch.
8. Riunite (“Right Right Now Now,” To The 5 Boroughs)
Riunite, so nice on ice.
9. Tate, Grady (“Professor Booty,” Check Your Head)
A drummer and singer who played for a variety of pop and jazz artists, including Count Basie, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, and Quincy Jones.
10. “Zulu Beat Show” (“Root Down,” Ill Communication)
Zulu Beat Show was a radio show hosted by Afrika Islam, that ran on Staten Island’s WHBI from 1983 to 1985. Mike D cited Islam’s broadcast of early hip-hop battles as an influence.