Co founder Adam Yauch aka MCA of the Beastie Boys passed away this weekend after a 3 year battle with cancer. I was 16 years old when their album Licensed To Ill hit the streets and the #1 one song off the album- (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)- became the ultimate party anthem. It was Columbia Records fastest selling debut; topping out at 9 million copies. There wasn’t a party to be found that wasn’t blasting that song. :)
The Beastie Boys weren’t just an run of the mill group. These 3 guys broke cultural and race boundaries in a genre that was predominately black; blazing the way for other rappers such Eminem. What was astounding is their appeal wasn’t a flash in the pan. Their influence spanned years with album after album after album. What started out as a goof became their lifestyle. Their 1989 album, Paul’s Boutique, showcases their evolution and though not half as popular as Licensed To Ill, it is considered by some to be their best work.
As the band grew less active, Adam went on to become an activist for the Tibetan relief efforts and pursued his love of directing. His production and distribution company, Oscilloscope Laboratories, received two Oscar nominations for the 2009 drama The Messenger and another for the 2008 documentary Burma VJ.
Diagnosed with cancer of the salivary gland in 2009, he was unable to attend the band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They are one of the only three rap groups to ever be inducted.
Goodbye MCA. The world is going to be a little less bright without you in it.