Adam Yauch, known to many as MCA from the Beastie Boys, has died, according to TMZ. His passing is the culmination of his bout with cancer, which had delayed the initial release of the Beasties’ last album “Hot Sauce Committee.” He was 47 years old.
This is a dark day for music, but also for this writer. Not only was Yauch’s work in the Beastie Boys a catalyst for me (and several others) for getting into hip-hop (and music in general), but his work changed and expanded the genre greatly for everyone. As a bassist, he along with his bandmates pushed the limits of what a rap group were capable of, mixing genres in a unique style that was distinctly their own.
Having converted to Buddhism in the early ’90s, the MC had spearheaded a wave of positive speak in rap. Many of his lyrics, especially those taken from songs like “Bodhisattva Vow,” “The Update” and “Flowin’ Prose” (all solo vocal tracks) spoke to me personally and shaped me as a human being. He taught me the value of respect — for the planet, my parents, women, enemies, and total strangers. I know I’m far from being the only one.
The death of Adam Yauch is something I’ve feared since he was diagnosed with cancer and 2009 and I am no more prepared for it now since then. There’s really nothing more to say on it for now other than to use the words he once directed at “all the mothers and the sisters and the wives and friends” — that we offer MCA our love and respect to the end.
Beastie Boys — “Sure Shot”