"The Beastie Boys’ License to Ill album (one of the most cherished albums in my collection, one of the best albums of the ’80s, and one of the best debut albums ever recorded, in my opinion) became a portal into a world I never knew existed. Here were three guys wilding out in track jackets and Adidas shell toes and fake ’staches, paradoxically making an unholy, f***-it-all mess that somehow still ended up being good, clean fun, with a knowing wink and nod, vowing not to sleep until Brooklyn (before Brooklyn would become known for organic hummus and strollers and people like me), and drippin’ swag more than 20 years before that’d become “a thing.” They acted like someone gave the smart kids a cool pass. To me and the generation of ’80s kids who grew up with the Beastie Boys, MCA, Mike D and Ad-Rock were the original mashup artists, combining urban music and city life, punk, pop and street style into a brand-new teenage dream with a message that was equal parts ironic, self-aware, wry, and, at its core, positive and conscious. Beastie Boys kept it street, but they didn’t stick to rapping about guns and drugs. They rapped about being kids and being young, wild and free. The Beastie Boys were the original swag pioneers, and MCA’s unmistakably raspy, intentionally bratty rhymes were like a battle cry to join that new movement that’d lead me to Brooklyn (after a few years at a rental on Rivington Street, steps away from the original Paul's Boutique storefront), and ultimately to a life buoyed by the velocity of New York, by music, and, ironically, to MTV.