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Corner in NYC is now officially Beastie Boys Square

The location of their seminal album cover is now immortalizing the band

LiFTED | Marcus Aurelius | 25 Jul 2022

Like many things Beastie Boys related, it took nearly a decade for people to get it. The corner of Ludlow and Rivington Streets, where the album cover for their seminal Paul’s Boutique record was shot, is now named Beastie Boys Square. This didn’t happen easily.

In 2013, a petition was rejected by the Community Board to rename this corner. Fortunately, people didn’t give up hope. Recently, the New York City Council voted to officially rename the corner, and the bill is expected to be signed by Mayor Eric Adams very soon.

Beastie Boys shot by Ricky Powell

For the Beastie Boys’ second album, they wanted to get rid of their Frat Boy personas and go a little deeper. In 1989, they released Paul’s Boutique, and it didn’t get as much love as their debut album, Licensed to Ill. While critics generally liked the dusted sounds and over-the-top rapping, the general public looked at it as a failure. It took about 10 years for Paul’s Boutique to become known as a classic in the modern music pantheon.

That’s all the more reason to celebrate the Beastie Boys because they were so far ahead of their time. While there has never been an actual store selling clothes on that corner, there has been a mural of the Beasties for many years.

Christopher Marte, a New York City councilman, praised the vote to Variety magazine, “As many of us know, once the Beastie Boys hit the scene, it really changed the Hip Hop game. I see it as a celebration. A celebration for the Lower East Side, a celebration for Hip Hop, and especially a celebration for our community who has been organizing for a really long time to make this happen.”