Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys Passes Awayby P-Francone
“One of my greatest moments in music was when I worked with the Beastie Boys … Now today I’m hearing our brother is gone. I prayed this would not happen… MCA was so cool, man. We had great talks about what it was like for them in the beginning, getting into the rap game. I’ll never forget that experience for the rest of my life. MCA is true legend who influenced me. God bless his soul and his loved ones.” – Nas (Rapper)
Adam Yauch, commonly known as MCA was a founding member of New York hip-hop group Beastie Boys. The Beastie Boys have always been known for their eclectic style, mixing all sorts of different rhythms and samples in their songs and for their ridiculous music videos that feature parodies on cop shows, fondue heists, crashing house parties and showing off their home city.
Yauch was diagnosed with a cancerous salivary gland in 2009, and from that point on he began to been seen less and less in public. In 2012 the trio was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and his band mates Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz accepted the award on behalf of the group, where they read a letter from Yauch in which he showed off his typical generosity by stating, “To anyone who has been touched by our band, who our music has meant something to, this induction is as much ours as it is yours.” At the event, the other members of the Beastie Boys and band The Red Hot Chili Peppers played in tribute to Yauch.
Numerous musicians from Eminem to P. Diddy to Kid Rock all made statements honoring the hip-hop veteran, almost all of them mentioning Yauch’s incredible generosity, talent and vision. Artist Q-Tip from A Tribe Called Quest said “MCA was a great artist, visionary and a selfless humanitarian. He and his bandmates were especially kind to me and we became good friends. They took Tribe out on tour a couple of times and showed us the ropes. We spent a lot of time together and I learned a great deal from him and the boys. Our roots are intertwined in many ways. I can’t put into words how crushed I am. My condolences goes out to his family. He will be greatly missed.“
Yauch was a strong defender of Tibetan rights, inspiring the band to hold “Free Tibet” concerts in 1996 and 1997, that brought plenty of attention to the suffering of the Tibetan people.
In a PBS interview, Yauch revealed his deep personality when asked why there is so much interest in Tibet. He stated that his motivation for helping the Tibetan people was that “… on the one hand, we’re able to help the Tibetans to gain their freedom – in a sense we’re obligated to do that in a sense since we have the ability to help the Tibetans. But I think the really significant part of it for us for the western world is we have a lot to gain from the Tibetans – there are certain lessons that are within Tibetan culture. I mean understandings of compassion and of nonviolence that are things that we really lack in our society.”
At the all too young age of 47, Yauch passed away from cancer on Friday May 4, 2012. Yauch will be remembered as an excellent artist who passed away long before his time, as he said in their hit song Sure Shot; “I’ve got more rhymes than I’ve got grey hairs, and that’s a lot because I’ve got my share.”
“Adam Yauch brought a lot of positivity into the world and I think it’s obvious to anyone how big of an influence the Beastie Boys were on me and so many others. They are trailblazers and pioneers and Adam will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with his family, Mike D., and Ad-Rock.” – Eminem (Rapper)