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RIP MCA: Beastie Boy Adam Yauch Dies at 47

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Slade Sohmer

By Slade Sohmer on May 4, 2012

It’s disheartening when the heroes of your youth, too young themselves, pass away. You almost want it to be from drugs, from an accident, from growing old. But disease? Universe, you’re awful.

Some three years ago, legendary Beastie Boys’ co-founder Adam Yauch announced he was being treated for a cancerous parotid gland and lymph node. After a long battle, the groundbreaking musician known as MCA passed away on Friday. He was just 47 years old.

The story was first reported by Russell Simmons and his Global Grind website.

Along with Michael Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock), Yauch changed the face of modern music, and not just in a “Wait, white dudes can rap, too?” way. The beats, the lyrics, the perfect blind of hip hop and humor, this seminal trio gave us the original party rock anthem, “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party).” But as their ages advanced, so did their music, and the Beasties became known not just as musicians but as innovative producers who constantly adapted and changed the game.

Later in his career, Yauch donned the pseudonym Nathanial Hornblower and directed many of Beastie Boy’s videos, including “So What’cha Want” and “Intergalactic.”

The Beastie Boys truly earned their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but when Mike D and Ad-Rock stood before the crowd a few weeks ago, MCA wasn’t there. The pair read a note from Yauch, which included an earnest shout-out to the fans: “It’s also for anyone who has ever been touched by our band. This induction is as much ours as it is yours.” Class act, all the way to the end.

SEE ALSO: RIP MCA: Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch Passes Away at Weeping Elvis

SEE ALSO: Hidden Track offers a great round-up of artists paying tribute to Yauch.

Perhaps “Fight For Your Right (Revisited)” might make you smile today:

Or “Sabotage”:


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