RIP: Adam “MCA” Yauch

Posted May 4, 2012 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

Founding member of Beastie Boys dies after tough battle with cancer

Adam “MCA” Yauch, one of the founding members of hip hop trio Beastie Boys, passed away at the age of 48, according to news sources.

The musician was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and underwent radiation thearpy and treatment to combat the cancer which affected his parotid gland and a lymph node. The treatment stalled the work and album release of Hot Sauce Committee, which was marked for a 2009 release. The group decided to title the album as Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, and released the album two years later because of the grim news surrounding MCA’s health.

He also announced his plans of becoming a vegan under the recommendation of his Tibetian doctors.

Longtime Def Jam label associate and friend Russell Simmons was the first to break the news of Yauch’s passing on his website,

The Beastie Boys began their musical journey in 1979 as a hardcore punk band and later morphed into one of the greatest golden era rap groups. Yauch, a self-taught bass player, led the group to a national record deal with up-and-coming Def Jam Records, which resulted in their 1986 debut album Licenced to Ill. The album with the infamous Boeing 727 crashing into a mountain was certified 9x platinum and featured a chunk of golden era rap classics like “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)” and “Brass Monkey.” The group continued to record and perform faithfully, becoming one of the oldest active rap groups in recorded music. Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication and Hello Nasty followed. Their eight album, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, is their last album to feature Yauch. To date, the band has sold over 40 million albums worldwide.

More recently, the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Although Yauch was not present to accept the honor due to illness, he did write a letter, which was read by his fellow bandmates Mike D and Ad Rock.”I’d like to dedicate this to my brothers Adam and Mike,” he wrote. “They walked the globe with me. It’s also for anyone who has ever been touched by our band. This induction is as much ours as it is yours.”

No word if the Beastie Boys will disband or go on a temporary hiatus after Yauch’s passing. Also there is no word if cancer is the related cause of his passing.

Yacht is survived by his wife Dechen Wengdu and their daughter, Losel.

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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