was never a fan and own nothing, but the Boys made their mark
somebody pick a tune
from usa today
Adam "MCA" Yauch, along with fellow Beastie Boys Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "King Ad-Rock" Horovitz, urged everybody to "make some noise" and "fight for your right to party" in the mid-1980s. In the process they broke down racial barriers and helped rap music migrate from the streets of New York into America's mainstream.
Yauch, who died Friday after a three-year battle with cancer, had been unable to attend the band's April 14 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was 47.
The Beastie Boys, who brought punk rock sensibilities to hip-hop, released eight albums including six platinum ones, and sold more than 40 million records. Over the years, the group's sophomoric rhymes evolved to deal with more serious issues. The 1986 breakthrough Licensed to Ill spent seven weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and sold more than 9 million copies. The group's most recent album, Hot Sauce Committee, was released in 2011 to critical acclaim.
"Yauch always served as the band's emotional core," says Chris Weingarten, Spin magazine senior editor. "In the 1980s, his swarthy rasp was the beer-saturated link between Schoolly D and the suburbs, a gargle that served as the ambassador for rock kids to understand rap's swagger. In the 1990s, that same gravelly voice matured into the band's conscience, its grown-man center, its proud-to-be-grey-haired elder, a world-weary good-guy for the new alternative nation."
Yauch, who in addition to rapping played bass in the band, didn't limit himself to music. He was born to Jewish and Catholic parents, but became a practicing Buddhist as an adult. He co-founded the Milarepa Fund in 1994 and was a vocal activist in the Free Tibet movement. Under the pseudonym Nathaniel Hornblower, he directed several Beasties' videos and the feature-length Awesome; I F---in' Shot That! in 2004. He also directed the 2008 documentary Gunnin' for That #1 Spot, about elite high school basketball players. Yauch opened the New York City recording studio Oscilloscope Laboratories in 2002 and the film distribution company Oscilloscope Pictures in 2008.
Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen Wangdu and daughter Tenzin Losel.