Beastie Boys’ Mike D: ‘Grunge was a death sentence to the rock that preceded it’

The hip hop stalwart reflects on the demise of 80s hair metal

The Beastie Boys‘ Mike D has reflected on the birth of the grunge scene, calling it the “death sentence” to the rock music that had come before it.

In the latest installment of a series of video interviews with Vanity Fair, the rapper (pictured above right) reflects on the music scene in the 1990s.

“What was interesting about grunge was that it was this death sentence to the rock that had preceded it, which was hair metal. All of a sudden, grunge came in [and] it wasn’t cool anymore, if you were a guy at the gas station, to be into Warrant,” he said. “You couldn’t have big, fluffy long hair. You had to have fucked up shorter hair and a plaid shirt. You couldn’t be walking around the gas station in spandex anymore.”


He also goes on to say that Mike D that the 90s were the “apex moment” for hip-hop thanks to the genre’s evolution since the 80s and the emergence of Yo! MTV Raps and The Arsenio Hall Show.

Last weekend (July 26), a mural was painted above the shop front on the street corner depicted on the cover of Beastie Boys’ 1989 album ‘Paul’s Boutique’ (pictured above) to celebrate the album’s 25th anniversary.

The artwork was created – after a commission by the current owner of the property – by artist Danielle Mastrion.

Mastrion’s mural will be situated on the outside wall of Wolfnights, a sandwich shop found between Rivington and Ludlow. The shop was formerly the Lee’s Sportswear seen on the cover of the rap trio’s second album.


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