In 1986, The Beastie Boys released "License to Ill" and changed music forever. In 1986, I was a freshman in High School... and a metal head. I'll be the first to admit that I didn't get the Beastie Boys at first. To me, music was hairspray, lipstick, spandex, guitar solos, and Jack Daniels. What do you want... I was 15! In school, you were what you listened to, and it seemed like all of the 'jocks' liked the Beastie Boys, so I didn't want to. But then something changed. I went to a keg party (yes, I know that I am blowing my role model status by admitting that I drank while underage) and the Beastie Boys came on the radio. Everyone... and I mean everyone was singing along. The Jocks, the metal heads, the preps, the druggies, the nerds, the band geeks, and every other ridiculous clique that exists in High School were all agreeing on one thing... The Beastie Boys!
Over the years, The Beastie Boys reinforced the solid bridge that they had built between music genre's, by releasing hit after hit, and selling out every tour that they went out on. I'll always regret that the Beastie Boys/Rage Against The Machine tour never made it back to Foxboro. That show would have been EPIC! Think about it, Rage Against the Machine probably wouldn't have even existed without the Beastie Boys. Neither would Linkin Park, and countless other artists, who didn't have to be afraid to try and mix styles, because the Beaties proved that it was possible.
They paved the way on MTV, and showed just how powerful music videos could be. MCA organized political rallies and concerts in support of Tibet, and the list of influences goes on and on. 3 guys from NYC, set out in 1979 as a hardcore punk group and ended up bridging Rock and Hip Hop forever.
Last month, the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of 2012, and I'm just happy that MCA was alive to see it. To see just how much value the music community puts on his, and the other 'Boys' contribution to music as a whole, I can only imagine it was very meaningful to him.
MCA, you like so many before you, have been taken from us WAY too soon. But, your influence and legacy will remain long after we all join you in whatever afterlife exists. Thank you for being on the radio at that keg party when I was 15, and for all of the other great memories that I have with your music as the soundtrack!
This is, and will always be my FAVORITE beastie Boys song!
Reaction to MCA's death was swift and widespread on twitter:
#restinpeaceMCA 1 of my favorite hiphop groups...hiphop raised a lot of us & now we have to wake up because are hero's are dying too younge
Billie Joe Armstrong@BJAofficial
Lollapalooza94 talked to Yauch almost everyday He was full of wisdom & encouragement for a freaked out kid like I was. Thank you MCA. LoveBJ
So bummed about Adam Yauch (mca) from the Beastie Boys passing today! RIP
"License to ill" was the soundtrack of my youth and "MCA" was as much a part of my teenage years as any one of my friends.
LISTENED TO THE BEASTIE BOYS SINCE I WAS A KID. RIP ADAM (MCA) YAUCH. YOU WILL BE MISSED.
Big Daddy Kane@officialbdk
Rest in peace MCA of the Beastie Boys. A pioneer, legend & OG that will be missed.
☠ Papa Roach ☠@paparoach
Rest in Peace to a hip hop pioneer - Adam Yauch aka MCA of Beastie Boys.
For more info on MCA, see below.
Adam Nathaniel Yauch (August 5, 1964 - May 4, 2012) was a founding member of hip hop trio, the Beastie Boys. He was frequently known by his stage name, MCA, and other pseudonyms such as Nathanial Hörnblowér.
Yauch died on May 4, 2012. He announced in 2009 that he was being treated for cancer, but it is not yet known if his death was a direct result of the cancer.
Yauch was born an only child in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Frances and Noel Yauch, who is a painter and architect. His father was Catholic and his mother was Jewish. In high school, he taught himself to play the bass guitar, and formed Beastie Boys. They played their first show — then still a hardcore punk band in the vein of Reagan Youth — on his 17th birthday, while still attending Edward R. Murrow High School in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn. He attended Bard College for 2 years before dropping out. Two years later, when Yauch was 22, the Beastie Boys, now performing as a hip hop trio, released their first album Licensed to Ill on Def Jam Records.