Adam Yauch, better known by his stage name of MCA as part of the seminal rock-rap group the Beastie Boys, has passed away aged 47. Yauch was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, and had been undergoing treatment since, including Tibetan practices. He is remembered by his wife and daughter, along with the entire music and film community who mourn his passing.
As one of the Beastie Boys, he was behind the seminal albums Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty. The band began life as a hardcore punk band in the late 1970s, but found their voices in a winning fusion of rock, rap and other musical influences as their albums progressed over the next three decades. He also became deeply involved with the Tibetan freedom movement from the 1990s, founding the Milarepa Foundation that produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits.
In addition to his role as part of the Beastie Boys, he directed a number of their videos under the name Nathaniel Hornblower, including the epic Japanese monster film inspired “Intergalactic” and “Make Some Noise”, both of which won MTV Video Music Awards. He also dire several cted features including the innovative concert documentary Awesome; I Fuckin’ Shot That!, basketball documentary Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot and the 30-minute Fight For Your Right Revisited video, starring Danny McBride as MCA, and Seth Rogen and Elijah Wood as the rest of the hip-hop trio.
His passion of independent filmmaking leading to the building of his own studio Oscilloscope Laboratories, which has distributed Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy and Meek’s Cutoff, Oren Moverman’s The Messenger, and Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop among others. It could also be argued that the Beastie Boys, along with a number of other seminal acts of the 1980s and 1990s, were directly responsible for the rise of filmmaker Spike Jonze, who made his start on their music videos.
An official statement can be found on the Beastie Boys website.
On a personal note, ‘MCA’ will be deeply missed by me. The Beastie Boys were not only one of my biggest musical awakenings during my seminal ‘coming of age’ years, but opened my mind to a wider variety of musical influences and ways of looking at the world. Having seen the Beastie Boys live in concert, and followed them over the last few decades, their winning fusion of sounds and energy and passion for music is nothing less than inspiring. MCA may be gone, but he has left a legacy of some of the most anthemic songs of every decade since he first started performing professionally. We wish his friends and family all the best during this sad time.
Fight For Your Right Revisited Full Music Video