The 30 Best Ad-Rock (Beastie Boys) Quotes

While the New York City-born rap trio, the Beastie Boys, are known as a democratic triumvirate, when the rubber meets the road, Ad-Rock is the group’s spiritual frontman on stage.

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The electric-voiced rapper, along with his musical brothers MCA and Mike D, dominated the airwaves in the ’80s and ’90s. Their brand of spastic, interchangeable lyricism, and deep camaraderie made them fan favorites. But they were also keen-eyed, quick-witted, and devilishly talented.

Here, however, we wanted to dive into 56-year-old Ad-Rock’s (born Adam Horovitz) thoughts a bit more. Specifically, those outside of his raps and songs. What did the emcee have to say about life, love (he is famously married to Riot Grrrl Kathleen Hanna), his craft, his friends, his band, and the world around him?

Notably, the Beastie Boys went through changes during their careers. From party guys to deep thinkers and family men. So, let’s investigate that a bit more with the 30 best Ad-Rock quotes.

1. “I’ve only done karaoke twice in my life.”

2. “Grand Royal [Records] started because we were on the Lollapalooza tour, and we wanted to send this message to people that the mosh pit is corny. Stop doing that. MTV has ruined it, and it’s dangerous, and girls are getting hurt.”

3. “What I work hardest at is just trying to not let things get me crazy.”

4. “I know Noah Baumbach from a long time ago. We were hanging out one night, and he asked if I wanted to be in his movie. If somebody whose stuff you really like says, ‘Hey, you want to do it with me?’ you got to do it. I would like to say that I get these offers all the time, but I don’t.”

5. “We got very lucky. We were successful, but if we weren’t, I don’t know what I would have done.”

6. “A lot of people are trying to get me to go solo. It’s just a thing I have to deal with a lot. Record labels are always trying to get me to go solo.”

7. “Chasing after the past is not going to lead you to the future you want.”

8. “All generations think the present moment is the greatest but also have this fascination with before their time. I do the same thing. I see old British movies. I’m like, ‘Man, I would love to be in London at that time.’ But then I wouldn’t be able to watch ‘The Walking Dead,’ I wouldn’t have cable, and my pizza options would be limited.”

9. “I trust anybody’s memory more than I trust mine.”

10. “I’ve fallen to make people laugh. Often.”

11. “Some of the stuff that I say on [the album] License to Ill, I say some real dumb stuff.”

12. “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.”

13. “My specialties include macaroni and cheese and ordering Chinese-food delivery.”

14. “Paul’s Boutique was a bust, right? That was a bummer. We didn’t pause on it for a long time – we didn’t go through therapy – but it was weird. And because it was a bust, we didn’t go on tour.”

15. “Being a straight white guy in his early twenties—there’s some sort of thing about it. A sort of privilege, a sort of anger or something. You just say some really stupid things.”

16. “Of course, if you’re gonna make a rap song, you’re gonna want to sound like Melle Mel.”

17. “Our music is weird. It’s not pop. I don’t know why so many people buy our records.”

18. “If I had to say something, it would be ‘Lighten up. Be cool.’ There’s just so many buffoons out there.”

19. “As a band, we always took a really long time to make records, so, unfortunately, we got into that habit of, like, ‘We’ll work on it tomorrow.'”

20. “You have to consume Fig Newtons with either milk or an alternative milk product. It’s like a conspiracy with the dairy industry. They’re in cahoots.”

21. “I have no idea about the state of rap. I don’t pay attention. I just listen to old music that I have.”

22. “Stuff used to get me really crazy, touring stuff. I used to hide. I hid from everybody. Back in ’87, when things were so hectic, I’d run away. There was so much pressure.”

23. “I got no business going to a club. I’m a terrible dancer. I got a bad back.”

24. “There’s songs you listen to at really heavy times, and you associate those songs with being depressed. ‘English Rose’ by The Jam, I can’t listen to—it’s just too heavy for me. ‘Julia’ by The Beatles, too. That popped up the other day, and I had to skip to the next song. They’re both really awesome, moving songs, but I can’t listen to them.”

25. “Licensed to Ill was like a cold, and we took so much vitamin C that we’d never get that cold again.”

26. “The two biggest influences of the ’70s were Don Cornelius and Bruce Lee.”

27. “Me and my two best friends went to see the Ramones in 1979, and two weeks later, I was like, ‘We’re starting a band. That’s it.'”

28. “I own a car: a minivan. But don’t tell anyone, ’cause they’re gonna ask to borrow it.”

29. “I would say think about the thing that makes you happiest, and do that. If it’s drawing or dancing or listening to music or bowling, whatever it is that makes you happy, I would focus on that, and you’ll definitely gain some confidence.”

30. “It takes a lot of guts to get on stage.”

Photo by Jim Bennett/WireImage

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