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‘Beastie Boys Square’ Set To Be Unveiled In New York City

The corner of NYC’s Ludlow and Rivington Streets, where the iconic cover of ‘Paul’s Boutique’ was shot is being renamed in the band’s honor.

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Beastie Boys - Photo: Vinnie Zuffante/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In commemoration of the unveiling of Beastie Boys Square and 50 years of Hip-Hop, Mike Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Adrock), in association with The City of New York and Council Member Chris Marte, will be celebrating in the Lower East Side on September 9 beginning at 12:00 pm. on Rivington Street between Ludlow and Essex Streets. The celebration will go on until 2:00 p.m., and will feature a special guest DJ set by Jon Bless HiFi System, pop-up activations and more.

Diamond and Horovitz will be in attendance for the dedication of Beastie Boys Square, a renaming of the corner of Ludlow and Rivington Streets, the site where the iconic gatefold cover of the band’s influential sophomore album Paul’s Boutique was shot.

The christening of Beastie Boys Square marks another milestone in Beastie Boys’ decades-long relationship with New York City. Beastie Boys and NYC have been inextricably intertwined since the band was formed at the late Adam “MCA” Yauch’s 17th birthday in uptown Manhattan, quickly becoming a staple of the city’s hardcore punk underground.

The relationship grew in depth and complexity as the trio’s debut album Licensed to Ill became the first rap record to hit #1 on the US album chart, reaching an early apex with the 1989 release of Paul’s Boutique. Named after a fictional clothing store, the album initially confused punters looking for more of debut album Licensed To Ill’s jock bravado. In the years since, however, it’s been rightly hailed as one of the cornerstones of hip-hop. Its reputation has also grown dramatically — it’s often referred to as the “Sgt. Pepper’s of hip hop,” certified double platinum by the RIAA for sales of 2 million, and appearing on all-time best-of lists including TIME, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, SPIN, and many more.

Paul’s Boutique also carries the distinction of being arguably the Beastie Boys album most steeped in New York culture (despite being recorded in Los Angeles), with lyrical references including the Ramones, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, the Village, Chrystie Street, the D Train, Ed Koch, the Knicks, the Yankees, Shea Stadium, the Palladium, Phil Rizzuto, the Atlantic Antic, the New York Post, El Diario, Bernard Goetz, Broadway, Jazzy Jay, Bad Brains, and more.

Additionally, the ongoing celebration of the 50 years of Hip-Hop includes the cinema debut of the Apple Original Film Beastie Boys Story, directed by Beastie Boys collaborator and Academy Award winner Spike Jonze, at the IFC Center in Greenwich Village with showings on both Friday, September 8 and Saturday, September 9 at 11:30pm.

Buy or stream Paul’s Boutique.

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