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Commentary: Looking back on Beastie Boys’ Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch

Courtesy of MCT

If you’re a true member of Generation X or a fan of hip-hop in general, you’ll probably agree with me when I say the music world lost a true legend last week.

Adam Yauch, better known as MCA, died Friday at the age of 47, after a three-year struggle with cancer.

Yauch was one-third of the Grammy-winning hip-hop band, the Beastie Boys, and died just weeks after the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which he did not attend due to his illness.

If you’re slightly culturally deprived and aren’t familiar with this band of influential hip-hop gurus, the Beastie Boys started in 1979 and released its debut album, “License to Ill” in 1986, which contained a couple of the band’s most famous songs such as “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” and “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.”

As one of the longest-lived hip-hop acts, the group went on to record seven more albums, sell more than 40 million albums worldwide and win three Grammys.

Yauch was a co-founder of the group, and in addition to rapping and playing bass, he also launched the film production company, Oscilloscope Laboratories and directed some of the group’s music videos.

Yauch has given so much to the world of music and film and fans certainly recognize this. Social media lit up after the announcement of his death with tweets of favorite lyrics and mourning.  

From his Twitter account, @RedHourBen, actor Ben Stiller said, “So sad that Adam Yauch is gone. A truly great musician & filmmaker. He stood for integrity as an artist. What a loss. He was a very good man.”

With lyrics such as, “If you try to knock me you’ll get mocked / I’ll stir fry you in my wok / Your knees will start shaking and your fingers pop / Like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock,” and “I give thanks for this world as a place to learn / And for this human body that I’m glad to have earned,” it is clear that Yauch was the epitome of a true MC. He made history with his rhymes and brought us hits that will continue to be sung, or in this case, rapped.

So, R.I.P MCA, and thanks to you, we’ll all continue to fight for our right to party.

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