As a fan of the Beastie Boys, Friday was a sad day. We lost Adam Yauch, a.k.a. Nathanial Hornblower, a.k.a. MCA, to cancer. Yauch was one of the founding members of what would become one of the most successful – and flat out freaking fun – rap groups in the world. He was 47.
“With his gravelly voice and laconic rapping style, Yauch stood out in the trio, whose other members tended to have faster, more nasal flows. He formed the B-Boys in 1979 while still in high school as a hardcore punk band, but their sound progressed over the years until they emerged as one of the most successful rap groups in history.”
I have so many happy memories of hanging out with my friends and listening to the Beastie Boys. They were so good for that. My beloved B-Boys have graced more than a few of my running playlists over the years, and inspired a ton of dancing. I saw them once, at a Tibetan Freedom Concert, in Wisconsin in 2000. They were just as I hoped: awesome. We had been there all day, out in the sun, but when the stars came out along with the Boys, there was a jolt of of pure fun, hip-hop straight from Brooklyn. That we got to see them at such an important event, one that was so important to Yauch, made it even better.
The Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. MCA didn’t attend. The performance that they would have done was instead performed by The Roots, Kid Rock, and Travie McCoy of Gym Class Heroes. Knowing now how sick Yauch was makes watching the performance bitter sweet. Still, it was great to see such a cool homage.
I can never see the trio that is the Beastie Boys in concert again, but thank goodness for their music. That lives forever.
“I want to say a little something that’s long overdue: The disrespect to women has got to be through. To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends: I want to offer my love and respect to the end.” – MCA, in “Sure Shot.”
Thanks for being awesome Mr. Yauch.
For a great piece on Yauch’s human rights activism check this out from Salon.
*photo credit: Hollywood Reporter