Adam Horovitz, aka Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys, stars in Noah Baumbach's new film While We Were Young. In support of his role, the 48-year-old spoke to the Daily Beast about the state of New York City, the Beastie Boys being considered OG rappers, today's rap music, Iggy Azalea's cultural appropriation criticism, the "Blurred Lines" lawsuit, and the possibility of working with Mike D again, among other topics. Here are some things we learned:
On whether Beastie Boys are OG rappers:
"We're certainly older than whatever is the current rap group that I've never heard of right now, but when I started rapping, acts like Grandmaster Flash or KRS-One were the old school. So maybe I'm in the early stages of the middle school."
On why older rappers don't get as much recognition as older rockers or pop stars:
"Rap music is the only genre of music I can think of where nobody gives a sh*t about last year-let alone 20 or 30 years ago. Rap is the only super-current music. If you're into reggae or dancehall and you don't know Bob Marley, then you don't really know what you're listening to. But if you're listening to rap and you're 15, you're like, 'Grandmaster Flash? Who's that? Public Enemy? Yeah, my dad told me about them once.' And that's just how it is. We had to accept that as a band. We were told by rap stations, 'We're not going to play you guys,' and that was around the time of the second album! We got played a lot in the '80s, and people are still like, 'Aw, man, Licensed to Ill, I had that tape, man. What did you guys do after that?'"
On the current state of rap music:
"I have no idea about the state of rap. I don't pay attention. I just listen to old music that I have. Once a year, I'll go do a digging search on things, and then listen to that for the next year or two. I like Kanye West... he makes good music."
On the future of the remaining Beastie Boys:
"Adam [Yauch] started the band, so it's done. I'm in transition right now. I'm transitioning. It's an interesting time, I guess. I certainly knew that the Beastie Boys weren't going to be the same thing forever, but I certainly hoped that we would just stop doing it for a while, Adam would make movies, and we'd just be friends for a while. So I don't know what I'm supposed to do."
On Iggy Azalea and criticism over her appropriation of black culture:
"We wore f**kin' Puma suits and do-rags, so of course we [caught sh*t]! She sounds like Da Brat. I can't say too much because I've heard literally one song of hers, and it's not for me. I was gonna say it's awful, and it is awful. But what do I know? It's sold like 20 billion records, so people like it. I don't care, more than anything."
On the "Blurred Lines" lawsuit verdict:
"[The jury] weren't allowed to hear the song in the case but they saw the charts for it, and if you're basing a legal case on drum patterns and bass notes, it's a billion songs! It's a simple 4/4 drum pattern that every rap, rock, everything, uses."
Read the rest of the interview here, and let us know what you think in the comments section!