Friday, May 11, 2012
Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch 1964-2012
“Fuck those whiteboys,” he said, a fine way to dismiss MCA, Mike D and the King Ad-Rock. Hip-hop’s Ramones. The Caucasian Run-DMC. I was never able to see The Beastie Boys live in concert, and now I never will.
Adam Nathaniel Yauch, rapper MCA, died on May 4th of salivary gland cancer. He was 47. Licensed to Ill, Paul’s Boutique (1989), Check Your Head (1992) and Ill Communication (1994) represent an uninterrupted stretch of crazy-high quality hip-hop in a genre that often struggles to put out more than two consecutive classics. As a group, The Beastie Boys are matched only by De La Soul in that regard.
MCA was the face of The Beasties’ evolution, from the teenage faux anarchy of their hit ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)’ and the inflatable penises of their live shows to Tibetan Freedom Concert appearances and Yauch’s own nonprofit organisation for Tibetan independence, the Milarepa Fund. Yauch is survived by his wife, Dechen Wangdu – an American of Tibetan descent – and their daughter, Tenzin Losel.
As their labelmates on Def Jam brought hip-hop into suburbia, Beasties samples introduced Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and The Clash to the hood. Urban cultural exchange at its finest. --Miles Marshall Lewis