Adam Yauch, otherwise known as MCA from the Beastie Boys, died on Friday (May 4) at the age of 47. A founding member of the hardcore punk band gone hip-hop trio, Yauch traded the bass guitar for a mic, providing low end, raspy vocals over the Beasties’ beats for more than 25 years.
Yauch was diagnosed with a gland tumor in 2009, which led to canceled tour dates and a push back of their 2011 album Hot Sauce Committee Part 2. Late last year, due to continued health issues, the talented MC missed the group’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, the veteran MC’s legacy traveled much farther than his hometown. From organizing the 1996-2001 Tibetan Freedom Concerts to selling merchandise to support tsunami relief for Japan in 2011, the Beastie Boys trio continually used their renown to aid relief efforts worldwide. Yauch even co-founded the Milarepa Fund, a non-profit organization created to raise money for the Tibetan Independence movement.
The Beastie Boys’ music spread just as far as their philanthropic efforts. With No. 1 records in myriad countries — from New Zealand to the Netherlands — and years of sold-out world tours, Yauch and his Boys from Brooklyn never did get much sleep.
May he rest in peace.
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