Musician, rapper, activist, director, philanthropist and producer, Adam “MCA” Yauch, founding member of the Beastie Boys has passed away in his native New York City this morning after a three-year battle with cancer at 47 years old.
Alongside Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Adrock” Horovitz, the Beastie Boys sold over 40 million records, released four #1 albums, with their debut Licensed To Ill winning three Grammys, and the MTV Video Vanguard Lifetime Achievement award. Only last month the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
In addition to an iconic career in music, Yauch was also a founder of the Milarepa Fund, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to the cause of the Tibetan people under Chinese occupational government and military forces.
As nom-de-plume Nathanial Hörnblowér, Yauch also directed iconic videos for the Beastie Boys including “So Whatcha Want,” “Intergalactic,” “Body Movin,” “Ch-Check It Out” and the star studded “Make Some Noise” from last year’s Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. You can watch all of these below.
As if founding a record breaking group, numerous charitable causes and an international concert series wasn’t enough, Yauch also created Oscilloscope Laboratories, which enabled him to release his directorial film debut, Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot, a basketball documentary released in 2008. Oscilloscope Lab has since gone on to produce high quality cinematic offerings ranging from Kelly Reichardt’s Wendy and Lucy, Oren Moverman’s The Messenger, Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop, Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze’s Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait Of Maurice Sendak and Lynn Herschberger’s We Need To Talk About Kevin, as well as LCD Soundsystem doco – soon to screen at VIVID – Shut Up And Play The Hits.
Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen and their daughter Tenzin Losel, and his parents Frances and Noel Yauch.
You can read a lump-in-throat-inducing tribute from Marieke Hardy here, and revisit some of Yauch’s generation-defining classics below.
“So Whatcha Want”
“Make Some Noise”
“(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)”
Via Beastie Boys