Remembering Adam Yauch, a.k.a. MCA, of the Beastie Boys
May 6, 2012
We can we please have a moment of silence for...
Adam Yauch, one of the founding members of the influential rap group The Beastie Boys. The 47-year-old rapper passed away on May 4 after a three-year bout with cancer. In 2009, Yauch was diagnosed with cancer of the salivary gland and had to undergo surgery. At the time, Yauch described the cancer as "very treatable."
Yauch reportedly was hospitalized on April 14 in New York, and his condition deteriorated rapidly soon after. His wife, Dechen Wangdu, and 13-year-old daughter, Tenzin, were at his bedside Friday when he died.
Not only was Yauch a great emcee he was also a great humanitarian having help organize the series of the Tibetan Freedom Concerts and being an avowed Buddhist. In addition, he was a phenomenal filmmaker, helming many of the band's videos (under the alias Nathaniel Hornblower) and directing the 2008 high school basketball documentary Gunnin' for That #1 Spot and most recently the short film, Fight for Your Right Revisited.
As for the music, with fellow members Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, the Beastie Boys produced several chart-topping albums including their classic 1986 debut LP License to Ill and their 1989 sample-heavy masterpiece Paul's Boutique.
"Adam was incredibly sweet and the most sensitive artist, who I loved dearly," said Russell Simmons who signed the Beastie Boys to Def Jam Recordings. "I was always inspired by his work. He will be missed by all of us."
"The music world has lost an Icon and I lost a brother," said DJ Mix Master Mike who work with the Beasties on their 1998 Grammy Award-winning album Hello Nasty. "I give thanks to Adam Yauch for allowing me to be apart of the Beastie legacy. I am so honored to have graced the stage with my idols for 15 historic years. My Condolences go out to the Yauch family."
Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen and his daughter Tenzin Losel, as well as his parents Frances and Noel Yauch.
I think LL Cool J's eulogy sums up how the hip-hop community feels about the loss of Adam Yauch.
A few of my favorite Beastie Boys moments and videos
Beastie Boys Performing "Ch-Check It Out" on Late Show with David Letterman
Beastie Boys -- "So What'cha Want" (Adam Yauch, Director)
Beasties Boys Performing 'Fight For Your Right' on American Bandstand
Beastie Boys Tribute on VH1 Hip-Hop Honors Def Jam
Beastie Boys -- "Three MC's and One DJ" (Featuring DJ Mixmaster Mike)
Power 2 MCA, you will be sorely missed.