(Huffington Post) From Obama to Occupy, a majority of the historic moments of our time have been made iconic through the eyes of street artist Shepard Fairey. Thus it comes as no big surprise that when seminal hip-hop artist Adam Yauch passed away, he would be remembered in Fairey’s signature style. The surprise, however, is the unlikely story behind the billboards that have appeared in two Los Angeles locations.
Yauch, known as MCA of the Beastie Boys, passed away on May 4 at 47 years old after a long battle with cancer. His street art tribute began with Los Angeles Beastie Boys fan Jason May, who rented out three Los Angeles billboards to pay homage to Yauch’s legendary musical impact. He first enlisted Brooklyn artist Kaves to design a billboard, and Fairey was next. Fairey had been a longtime fan of the Beastie Boys’ innovative punk-rock, hip-hop fusion, and remembered the band’s impact on him in New York Magazine: “Hip-hop was the new punk rock, and I wouldn’t have embraced that if not for the Beastie Boys. They opened the doors for a lot of people to be more courageous about blending genres.” Both Fairey and Yauch are known for attracting youth culture to social causes through their optimistic works.