Chuck D.: [presenting an award to the Beastie Boys]
In the early 1980's, the infectious styles of rhythm and rhyme brought fever to the boogie-down Bronx, to the New York metropolitan area, across the country, and to the world. At the tail-end of disco and punk, as we knew it, were hybrid along with other sounds into the absorbing style of hip-hop. Picture 1983, and the onslaught of rappers, MCs, DJs and new recording artists: Afrika Bambaataa, Kool Herc, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Treacherous Three, Sugarhill Gang, and Run-D.M.C. In those days, hip-hoppers were truly from the streets and everybody rapping was black. All of a sudden, these three punk-rock white kids, there was no politically correct term for them back in the day, transcended their style and crossed it into hip-hop with the shock of Jackie Robinson in reverse. MCA, Mike D, and the King Ad-Rock ventured into a brand new world, a dark continent of this thing called rap music. Fighting for THEIR right and YOUR right to party, and ryhming across America and the world. Accused of illin', stealin', and being wannabes... but eventually gaining respect in the school of hardknocks and, at the same time, expanding and giving the music the diversity it claims today. I'm proof of that. They helped me get put on, and I was on their first tour: Licensed to Ill Tour 1987. Well, it's 15 years later, and the Beastie Boys, in the long run, have proved they made the music grow and music grow... and they've grown as well. Putting humanitarian words and actions together that make us all grow as well. I could go on and on till the break of dawn about the Beastie Boys... and tellin' you to visit Paul's Boutique while giving you a License to Ill Communication and telling you to Check Your Head until you say Hello Nasty.