Mentally Ill: Beastie Boys, Buddhism, and Anxiety

In March 1996, just as the melting snow was making way for spring in upstate New York, I discovered the Beastie Boys as a high school sophomore, finally. Jeremy Smith, who would later be known as DJ Angel Hands, was my best friend and lived down the street. He knew I liked rap (only rap at that point in my life) so he made me a tape of all the rap songs on Check Your Head and Ill Communication. I remember playing that tape on a bulky General Electric Walkman tucked into an oversized black jean jacket that I borrowed from a friend who was far more into the likes of Nirvana and Green Day.

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