Op-Ed: Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch dead at 47, hip-hop loses a legend
Hip-hop fans should be blasting Licensed to Ill at full volume today to honour the influence of Beastie Boys co-founder Adam Yauch, who died today from cancer at 47. Known as MCA, Yauch's impact on hip-hop will not be soon forgotten.
Yauch, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, passed away today at 47, Rolling Stone reports
. A tumor was found
in his salivary gland three years ago.
One-third of the hip-hop trio The Beastie Boys, Yauch sat out the Beastie Boys' induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, Rolling Stone writes
, and "his treatments delayed the release of the group's most recent album, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2." The rapper had recently become a vegan on the recommendation of Tibetan doctors, the National Post writes
, and dealt with radiation therapy and surgery for his cancer.
Yauch, born in Brooklyn, co-founded the Beastie Boys with Mike "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horowitz in 1979. The trio started off as a hardcore punk group, but soon moved into hip-hop. The band won attention with their first proper album, Licensed to Ill
, in 1986, and other albums Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head and Ill Communication cemented the band as a true influential act.
The Beastie Boys won't be the same with Yauch's death. The group also worked well with the three voices working in tandem, with three contributors adding their input into songwriting. MCA exhibited some of the smoothest flows and tightest rhymes in the business; plus, he added to the Beasties a playful style often found in their fun-loving videos such as Sabotage and Intergalactic
Personally, I'll always treasure the excellent music the Beasties made during their heyday. Body Movin'
is a dance track jump-starting my muscles to get dancing; So What Cha Want
showed me how powerful three voices can be in a single song; and Three MCs and One DJ
blended Mixmaster Mike's superior DJ skills with the guys' impressive lyricism.
Yauch, you will be missed. And Beastie Boys, it'll be hard to recover from the loss of one your pillars, but I sincerely hope you don't stop making music. The world of hip-hop would lose a legendary group needed now more than ever.