Adam Yauch (1964-2012)
The world of music lost one of its most interesting figures today, when Adam Yauch, one of two founding members of the unparalleled hard rock/hip-hop group the Beastie Boys passed away at the age of 47. Better known as MCA or Nathanial Hornblower, Yauch was not only recognized as a dynamic figure as an artist, but also in his private life. Born to Jewish-Catholic parents in New York, Yauch was a practicing Buddhist and a well-known supporter of Tibetan rights.
Discussing the unexpected influence and longevity of the Beastie Boys is perhaps left to Darryl McDaniels from Run DMC, who wrote a piece on the group as a part of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists in 2004. When I was driving home from work and wondering how I could write this post, McDaniel’s piece was the first thing I thought of, and I don’t think that I could more accurately discuss their influence as well as he can. Yauch was certainly a major contributing force throughout their career as a group, ranging from their 1986 debut record to their 2011 record, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two.
If there is a bright spot that can be found from Yauch’s death, it exists in the fact that he lived long enough to be an indirect part of the Beastie Boys’ induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 5. Although Yauch was unable to attend the group’s induction due to his illness, his speech was read aloud at the ceremony by his band mates, allowing MCA to come full circle in the musical world.