Such sad news to hear today that Adam Yauch, MCA of the Beastie Boys, passed away after a brave three year battle with cancer. The news of Yauch’s passing is truly a huge loss for the world of music, not just hip hop, as the Beastie Boys always transcended the imposed lines of musical genre. Yauch was a devout Buddhist, and was outspoken in his efforts to bring awareness to Tibet’s diminishing culture, due to Chinese oppression. During his battle with cancer, Yauch sought help from traditional Tibetan medicine. His activism and spirituality influenced the Beastie Boys music, propelling it to a higher level.
Beastie Boys, Heart Attack Man, Live in 1995 on SNL.
Chuck D once thanked Run DMC for being the first to prove that a DJ could be a band, and the Beastie Boys deserve the same praise. And it goes without saying that the Beasties’ could not have been without Adam Yauch. The band has always been in heavy rotation since I discovered them back in high school. Their instrumental record, ‘The Sound From Way Out‘, was the music playing while guests filed into the bar at my wedding reception. I’m sad thinking that MCA is no longer part of such a stellar musical equation, but I’m grateful that he was. Farewell, MCA. Me, my horsey, and a quart of beer salute you.