Beasties Fight for Right to Protest
by Josh Grossberg
Mar 12, 2003, 2:10 PM PT
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The Beastie Boys are looking to sabotage support for a U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The New York-based rap-rock trio is joining the growing chorus of musicians and actors protesting the impending invasion, releasing a new track, "In a World Gone Mad," on the beastieboys.com Website.
In the song, the activism-minded group pushes for a peaceful solution to the crisis in the Middle East.
"In a world gone mad, it's hard to think right/So much violence hate and spite/Murder going on all day and night/Due time we fight the non-violent fight," goes the chorus.
"We felt it was important to comment on where the U.S. appears to be heading now," Beastie Adam Yauch said in a message on site. "A war in Iraq will not resolve our problems. It can only result in the deaths of many innocent civilians and US troops. If we are truly striving for safety, we need to build friendships, not try to bully the rest of the world."
In their new tune, the Beasties say the threat of terrorism shouldn't justify giving our government a license to ill.
"First the 'War on Terror'/Now war on Iraq/We're reaching a point where we can't turn back/Let's lose the guns and let's lose the bombs/And stop the corporate contributions that their built upon," the boys rhyme.
Never ones to shy away from politics (see the Tibetan Freedom Concerts), the Beasties said they felt compelled to take some preemptive action.
"Being together, writing and recording, we felt it would be irresponsible not to address what's going on in the world while the events are still current," said Mike Diamond. "It didn't make sense to us to wait until the entire record was finished to release this song."
"This song is not an anti-American or pro-Saddam Hussein statement," added Adam Horovitz, aka King Ad Rock. "This is a statement against an unjustified war."
Aside from the Beastie Boys' site, "A World Gone Mad" is being made available for free download at several antiwar sites, including Move On, Win Without War, True Majority and the Milarepa Fund.
The Beasties add their protest song to a roster that already includes John Mellencamp's "To Washington," Madonna's "American Life" and George Michael's "The Grave" and "Shoot That Dog."
Meanwhile, Def Jam cofounder Russell Simmons and his politically charged Hip-Hop Summit Action Network have just sent a letter to President Bush urging him to "win without going to war" by giving the United Nations weapons inspectors more time to disarm Iraq.
"There is no justification for the massive killing of innocent people in an avoidable war on Iraq. The wrongness of this war will prevent a lasting peace in the Middle East and circumvent the progress that the U.N. is finally making in getting Saddam Hussein to comply," reads the missive, now circulating on Capitol Hill. The letter also reminds lawmakers that any military action will raise the federal deficit.
Simmons also banded together last week with David Byrne and Lou Reed to form Musicians United to Win Without War. The group took out a full-page New York Times ad that said, "War on Iraq is wrong and we know it," and was signed by the likes of Sheryl Crow, Fugazi and Jay-Z.