Beastie Boy Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch dies of cancer at 47

"I'm as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce," rapped MCA in the Beastie Boys Classic, "So Whatcha Want." Adam Yauch is pictured here in September of 2010.

After a three-year battle with cancer, Beastie Boys co-founder Adam Yauch has died at the age of 47.

According to Rolling Stone, Yauch, who went by the stage name MCA, was diagnosed in 2009 after he found a tumor in his salivary gland. His health began taking a toll on his work with the band, and he hadn’t performed live with the Beastie Boys since the summer of 2009. Last month he sat out from the trio’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Yauch was a pioneering member of the Beastie Boys, forming the group in 1979 with fellow New York City kids Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz. They began as a hardcore punk rock group, but by the mid ’80s they had adapted to the rap style that would make them famous.

What made the Beasties so unique was not only their pioneering work with sampling and their dedication to evolving into a band who played their own instruments, but also their style of team rapping where even within a single line of a song, all three members might say a different single word to make the line complete. Check out “Shadrach” from their 1989 classic, “Paul’s Boutique.” What makes this performance from “Soul Train” especially touching is the trio’s salute to the show’s host, Don Cornelius, who also died this year.

Yauch was also known for his activism in the free Tibet movement. He founded the Milarepa Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to
promoting awareness and activism regarding injustices perpetrated on
native Tibetans. He also organized the Tibetan Freedom Concerts.

In 2009 he announced that he had been diagnosed with cancer. Here he is in a video he made for fans with fellow Beastie Boy Ad Rock. Although they addressed the matter with seriousness, it is telling of their fraternal bond that they begin the video with laughter.

Not only will MCA be remembered as the Beastie with the raspy voice and the social conscience, but also for his role in immortalizing the trio with his video direction. His directing credits include “So Whatcha Want,” “Intergalactic,” “Body Movin” and “Ch-Check It Out.” He also wrote, directed and produced this hilarious 30-minute production last spring, cajoling dozens of celebrity fans to participate.

Even before MCA was directing half-hour films based off earlier Beastie hits, he was interested in video shenanigans. In 1994, when Spike Jonze (who directed the Beasties’ video for “Sabotage” that year) didn’t win the MTV Video Music Award for Best Director, MCA rushed the stage for his own style of sabotage. It seems the Beastie Boys were influential to Kanye West for more than just their rhymes.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

News

Explosions in new Boston Marathon bomb panic, 'twisted'…

A fresh Boston Marathon terror alert, which caused Bomb Squad officers to order an evacuation while two controlled explosions were carried out, was today being…

Local

D.A. Williams opens new unit to focus exclusively…

D.A. Seth Williams announced Tuesday that he has opened a new unit focused entirely on investigating wrongful conviction claims.

Local

BSL, El to run all night on summer…

Officials announced this week that it would institute a pilot program this summer that would keep the El operational from 5 a.m. Friday morning until midnight Monday morning starting in…

Entertainment

Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels Kansas concert, condition unknown,…

Singer Miley Cyrus was hospitalized on Tuesday night after suffering what is believed to be 'a severe allergic reaction' to antibiotics medication. The 21-year-old Bangerz…

Television

'Orphan Black's' Jordan Gavaris talks Felix's Season 2…

Jordan Gavaris plays heroically helpful foster sibling Felix to main clone Sarah on "Orphan Black." We talked to him about what’s ahead for him in…

Going Out

Here's what to do in Philly this weekend

FILM 'Through a Lens Darkly'  Thursday, April 17, 6 p.m. Philadelphia Photo Arts Center 1400 N. American St. Free, RSVP required, 215-232-5678 www.philaphotoarts.org Join Philadelphia…

Arts

Peek behind the scenes at the Academy of…

Generations of visitors have marveled at the dioramas in the Academy of Natural Sciences, watching apprehensively at the puma perpetually poised to attack the unsuspecting…

U.S. Soccer

Andrew Wenger has big shoes to fill on…

Lancaster County native Andrew Wenger will feel pressure to fill the shoes of departer forward Jack McInerney.

NBA

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could…

NBA Power Rankings: Are the Spurs frauds? Could the Mavericks surprise?

NBA

Sixers, Michael Carter-Williams give fans a happy ending…

The 2013-14 season for the 76ers has nearly come to a close.

NHL

Flyers must make Rangers feel their presence

Perhaps it’s the proximity of the two biggest cities in the East, because whenever these two square off the intensity seems to rise.

Home

Steal home decorating tips from Nattystyle blogger Natalie…

Despite the towering ceilings and enviable exposed brick, it’s easy to see how Natalie Decleve’s apartment could be considered a challenge. Perched above the streets…

Home

How to plant a garden in the city

Small on space but big on gardening? You can still have that welcoming oasis of fresh air with an urban garden. Peter Smith, owner of…

Style

Victoria's Secret Fashion Show moving to England

It will still broadcast on CBS this fall.

Tech

Google Glass finally goes on sale for regular…

The Google Glass finally went on sale for regular people. It only costs $1,500.