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Beastie's Back

Being Beastie, Volume 2: Hip hop karaoke for a cause

For the sixth installment of their “Being” tribute series, a benefit for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), promoters Damon Bodine of Live For A Cure and Tony Caferro of Deep Thinka Records are bringing it back around with Being Beastie, Volume 2. Two years ago Beastie Boys front man Adam “MCA” Yauch died of cancer at the age of 47. Yauch was an icon of a generation. Along with Mike D, and Ad Rock, he formed the Beastie Boys in New York City in the early 1980s. Their sound was like no other: a combination of rock, rap, punk, and hip hop, that would influence everyone from Eminem to Nas, Green Day and Rage Against The Machine. On the one year anniversary of MCA’s death, the city of New York dedicated a park to the legendary rapper, just blocks from his childhood home in Brooklyn. Now, each year fans celebrate Yauch and the Beastie Boys with MCA Day. This year a crew of Buddhist monks laid down a funky break dancing routine in remembrance.

Around the same time Yauch was diagnosed with caner, Bodine, a Western New York native who now resides in New York City, was battling Hodgkins Lymphoma. His cancer is now in remission, but Bodine has dedicated his life to promoting blood cancer awareness with his LLS team, Live For A Cure. In memory of the legendary Beastie Boys founder, and in celebration of Bodine’s continuing victories over cancer, this hip-hop karaoke styled event will bring together some special guests to perform selections from the discography of these hip hop pioneers, with Buffalo hip hop band Rhubarb backing them up. Being Beastie, Volume 2 happens this Saturday (May 31) at Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar. Your $5 minimum donation will be given to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

5 questions with Damon Bodine

Artvoice: Tell me about Live For A Cure.

Damon Bodine: The idea behind Live For A Cure is this: you go through a lot of experiences in life and you can come out of them in a few different ways. For me it was about being active and paying it forward. I wanted to show people that this kind of condition is not a death sentence. You can still live your life and do a lot of proactive things. Between all of the events and the online donations, well over 1000 people have donated and the money goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It’s wild. It’s has grown organically.

AV: How does it feel to return to Buffalo for an event like this?

DB: It’s fun. I don’t get to come back all that often, so it’s nice to come back and have, like, a purpose behind it. Just going out with your friends to The Pink gets old after a while.

AV: How have the Beastie Boys been influential on your life?

DB: They were one of the first groups I ever listened to. I was probably 10 or 11 years old when Ill Communication came out and I just remember hearing it and falling in love with it immediately. They’ve been one of those groups that have been able to say something and have a party while doing it.

AV: MCA died two years ago. At what stage in your own battle with cancer were you at when he died?

DB: I was already free and clear by then. I was sick between February and July of 2011. He had already been diagnosed by then, though. When you’re diagnosed all you can do is push forward. You watch these people and you see them in a certain light, but then you hear about that kind of stuff it’s hard to accept it.

AV: How does it feel to revisit the Being Beastie?

DB: It’s a little scary [laughs]. Sometimes when you have a lot of success with something it doesn’t always materialize the second time around. There’s that sophomore jinx. The first event we did was so over the top successful, so we put a lot of expectations on ourselves this time. But it’s all about fun, it’s very spontaneous. People start coming out of the crowd and signing up to do songs. Tone and I will end up doing a couple songs. It’s one of those events where anything can happen. Whenever you can get a few hundred people in a bar, having a good time for the benefit something positive, it’s important. People see that you can do something good and have fun while you’re doing it.

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