Yet another death in the musical world has beset upon us. One of the founders of the legendary music trio The Beastie Boys has passed. Adam Yauch, best known as MCA to fans of the Caucasian hip hop band, died after a battle with cancer, from a complication of a tumor found in his salivary gland, reports Rolling Stone. He was 48.
The Beastie Boys, comprised of Yauch, along with Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz, carved their own niche during the tail end of rap music’s first wave. Starting as a hardcore punk band in 1979, the Brooklyn, NY-based group became best known as the goofy nonsensically yet no-nonsense hip hop mavens who exploded in a huff of success with their 1986 release License to Ill. That record, and its accompanying single and perpetually run MTV video of “Fight For Your Right (To Party)”, put them as equal cohorts with their peers and like-minded artists during that era in the rap/hip hop ring, even surpassing many of those other artists who explored similar styles and genres.
Following up License to Ill with Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, and Ill Communication, The Beastie Boys rose to newer heights each time, and sales and their always sincere propensity to put out quality musical product kept them as musical hip hop wunderkinds as the 21st century dawned on the landscape, affirming The Beastie Boys into superstar status with a loyal and ever-expanding fan base.
Last month, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2012, but Yauch was unable attend the ceremonies in New York City because of his illness, though his band members reportedly read a letter from him at the induction. The treatments for his eventual terminal illness also slowed the release of their latest and now ultimately final studio album, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2. The band had also performed their now last live performances back in 2009.
Born in 1964, directed several Beastie Boys videos under the name Nathanial Hörnblowér and in 2002 opened up his own film production company and recording studio, Oscilloscope Laboratories in New York City. He also involved in the Free Tibet movement and had a hand in organizing the Tibetan Freedom Concerts in the late 1990s. He was diagnosed with cancer in July 2009 and had surgery to remove the tumor. He then underwent radiation therapy for it, even going vegan and eating an organic diet under the advice of his Tibetan doctors (according to the BBC).
Yauch, whose death certainly ends another era of music which got its start in the 1980s and closes a chapter on one of music’s more unlikely success stories with The Beastie Boys, was 48 years old. He is survived by his wife Dechen Wangdu and their daughter, Tenzin Losel Yauch.
RIP Adam Yauch – MCA
August 5, 1964 – May 4, 2012
Video: Beastie Boy – (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)