Mike Diamond, aka Mike D, grew up a precocious and highly opinionated young man on the island of Manhattan. He spent his childhood thieving 7″ records by the Jackson Five, The Beatles and various Motown artists from his older brothers while living in the very liberal upper West Side – with the background of New York City’s fiscal crisis and all the turmoil and lawlessness that went with that.
After finally saving up his own money to purchase Steve Miller’s “Fly Like An Eagle” album, Diamond started to learn to play the drums.
Soon after he discovered punk rock and it was game over. That was until he heard a rap mix tape and then it was game over again. Once discovering Reggae through the influence of punk bands like The Clash and The Slits – it was game over a third time.
He went on to form Beastie Boys with Adam Yauch, aka MCA, in the early 80’s. While inspired by hardcore punk, the boys listened all the while to every new rap 12 inch that came out and eventually rapping themselves. They soon began merging their many influences in what would go on to become a multi-record, multi-platinum and multi-decade career.
The band won a number of Grammys – though not as many as Kanye West or Jay Z claim that they each have won. They also received the highly acclaimed Blackshere Award as well as a very spirited Brass Monkey Award along the way. Beastie Boys also claim to have received the key to Kansas City, Missouri… though this is still shrouded in a bit of mystery.
Mike D, MCA and Adrock oversaw all aspects of their artistic output from music production to co-authoring videos with esteemed directors like Spike Jonze and Nathaniel Hörnblowér, to spending countless hours on their live visuals.
In the early 90s, Beastie Boys founded their own Grand Royal record label and magazine, creating multiple outlets to turn their visual, musical and literary ideas and inspirations on full display.
Diamond continued to apply this aesthetic (non) sense to home design, online content and even curating a multi-week group showcase at LA MOCA called “Transmission LA- AV Club”. The show was centered around the relationship of visual art and music, staged with Jeffrey Deitch. To bring this point home, the show included a full music program as well as food by pioneering chef, Roy Choi.
Mike Diamond has designed everything from magazine covers to records sleeves to his own wall paper and a clothing and bag collection with designer Clare V. He’s now on to his next venture – hosting and curating his own show, The Echo Chamber, on Apple Music’s Beats1 Radio. He even finds time to DJ and have fun. Apparently the game is still not over?
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