Today marks the 53rd birthday of New York rapper Mike D!

Mike D, born Michael Louis Diamond, is a Jewish-American who grew up in New York City. Originally a product of New York's hardcore punk scene of the early 80s, Mike D and his band mates, Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz and the late Adam "MCA" Yauch, were introduced to the rap game when they met the co-founder of Def Jam, Rick Rubin.

As one third of the trio that would become known as the Beastie Boys, Mike D exploded onto the scene in 1986 with the release of the group's debut album, Licensed To Ill, which is considered to be the first full-length Hip-Hop album to reach the top spot on the Billboard charts and one of only a handful of Rap albums to go certified diamond.

Since then, Mike D has enjoyed one of the longest-running careers in all of hip-hop, releasing eight albums with the group, touring around the world and winning three Grammy Awards among ten nominations.

Though the Beastie Boys haven't recorded or performed much at all in the years since the tragic passing of Adam "MCA" Yauch, they continue to be recognized for giving back to the hip-hop and music community.

The Beasties' influence in Hip-Hop is still visible today, with the most recent example coming in the form of the artwork for Eminem's Kamikaze album, which is a direct nod to the cover of Licensed to Ill.

Happy Birthday, Mike D!

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