We’ve lost one of the founding members of the Beastie Boys; MCA is dead, reportedly of cancer, at the tragically young age of 47. He leaves behind a wife, a daughter and a musical legacy that bridges styles and cultures.
I was in high school when the Beastie Boys first gained fame. And although my pursuits and interests at the time weren’t all that different from theirs (i.e., I was engaged in a daily fight for my right to party), I didn’t much care for the Beasties. I didn’t much care for rap, and wasn’t much interested in what they were rapping about.
But then a funny thing happened: me and the Beasties grew up. We matured together. They became socially active right about the same time I did, championing causes that were (and are) important to me. My respect for them grew by bounds as they demonstrated courage and commitment for the sake of social change.
And then there was the music. It changed too; matured, broadened, got deeper. Got better. The Beastie Boys went from being, in my mind at least, a novelty (read: white) rap act, to an enormously talented trio of songwriters, musicians and performers. In 2012 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Very much deservedly so, in my humble opinion.
Here, for what they’re worth, are our heartfelt condolences to Adam Yauch’s family, and to his lifelong best friends: Mike D. and Ad-Rock. Thanks for sharing him with us.