Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys, also known as MCA, passed away today after a long battle with cancer. He told fans about his condition in July of 2009 via a YouTube video. The Beastie Boys official site has also released an official statement. Read it here.

Starting out as the bass player in the Beastie Boys when they were a hard-core punk rock band in the early ’80s, he, along with drummer Michael Diamond (also known as Mike D) and guitarist Adam Horovitz (King Ad-Rock) began rapping and were signed to Def Jam Records, where their Rick Rubin-produced debut, 1986-s Licensed To Ill became the first hip-hop album to top the Billboard charts.

After License, they left Def Jam and Rush Management (both run, at the time, by Russell Simmons) and moved from New York to Los Angeles, where they recorded 1989-s Paul’s Boutique, a huge artistic departure from Licensed To Ill, and at the time, considered to be a commercial failure.

In the years since, it has been recast as a seminal album. For 1992-s Check Your Head, the group began playing their instruments again, and the album was split between conventional hip-hop tracks, hard rock/rap hybrids, instrumental funk workouts and a couple of hardcore punk blasts. It was the blueprint the group would follow in subsequent years, as most of their music fit into one of those categories.

Read the full story at CBS New York.


@joshfreese: Shocked and sad to hear about Adam Yauch. Didn’t know him…wish I had. Big fan of his. RIP MCA

@billy: Sad news about Adam Yauch’s passing,a man of dignity + spiritual conviction. I always had great respect for him in times we met and talked

@awolnation: “My name is MCA I got a license to kill. I think you know what time it is, it’s time to get ill!”. RIP MCA a huge influence on AWOLNATION

@nickhexum: Sad to hear about MCA. A huge influence. Rest peacefully.

@mybrandonboyd: The Beastie Boys and MCA were a big source of inspiration to @IncubusBand Our love and thoughts are with them

@tmorello: Rip dear Adam Yauch. Words can’t express the sadness and loss. Ur humor, talent & gentle soul are just irreplacable. Be at peace brother.

Tell us your memories of MCA in the comments below.

Comments (6)
  1. Alex V. says:

    A true legend in music as a Beastie Boy. Jamming to their songs was exhilarating and the adrenaline increased. That was a huge part of MCA’s flows and rhymes. Not one song was similar to the next, from punk rock to hip hop, their albums were never dull. MCA, you will be missed greatly. I will listen to the Beastie Boys and I will think of your contribution to music before and during my generation. R.I.P. Adam Yauch.

  2. Sam says:

    I will never forget when I got to see the Beastie Boys at the weenie roast a few years ago…they were awesome….R.I.P MCA

  3. Mark says:

    A lost to our generation of 40 + year olds. Will be miss, peace be with your family and friends.

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