By Justin McCahren
The world lost a pioneer Friday. Adam Yauch, better known as MCA of the Beastie Boys lost his three year battle with cancer. Yauch was a founding member of the Beastie’s, who helped steer hip hop into the mainstream. The raspy voice of the dynamic trio of emcees, Yauch’s diction was unmistakeable. His lyrics gave the group an egdgier sound that helped propel them to stardom.
While the emcee held his own lyrically, his genius was well rounded. He not only wrote verses for the iconic Beastie Boys, he also helped direct and write concepts for their legendary music videos. A rare breed in the rap world, Yauch also played bass guitar. Initially starting as a punk rock band, they never strayed too far from their roots. The punk hip hop sound that was born as a result was a sound entirely their own.
Just last month, the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock N’ Roll hall of fame. Too sick too attend, Yauch was praised by fellow emcees Ad-Rock and Mike D. A true innovator, pioneer and music legend, MCA will be sorely missed. His vision and creativity sparked a following thtat resulted in over 40 million records sold world wide.
Yauch, 47, was a spiritual man and a practicing Buddhist. He was also an activist in the Tibetan Independence movement. He survived by his wife Dechen and daughter Tenzin. He leaves behind a catologue of hit songs and memories.
For me personally, MCA was an inspiration. A lyricist and poet myself, groups like the Beastie’s and individuals like Adam helped pave the way for all who followed. There wasn’t a kid in my neighborhood growing up that didn’t have License To Ill. From “Fight For Your Right,” to “Sabotage,” to “Intergalactic,” the Beastie Boys released anthem after anthem. The group has stayed a mainstream success for the better part of three decades.
Thank you to Adam Yauch for blessing all of our ear drums with something different. He helped make the Beastie Boys the total package. There aren’t many artists in music today that can rival the genuine sound that they produced. He was a one of kind person, musician and pioneer.