Beastie Boys member, Adam Yauch (MCA), passed away today. Though he had been battling with cancer, his death has not been identified. Along with Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz, the Beastie Boys elevated the expectations of music, not just rap but music, to the next level.
Growing up in a small town in Michigan I was not a huge fan of music. I guess looking back on it, I did not like what the 80’s had to offer. Then License to Ill came out and everyone told me I had to listen to it because it was the greatest thing they had ever heard. So I borrowed my brother’s cassette tape and listened to it. I did not get License to Ill. The Beastie Boys came off as people my parents told me to avoid if I came across them in person. Paula’s Boutique was a different story. I was a little bit older and it was at a time in my life when I didn’t listen to my parents. I’m glad I did. That album introduced me to so many other musicians I wouldn’t have known about if I hadn’t listened to the album and the samples they used on it. After that I was hooked. Not only on the Beastie Boys, but music in general.
Yauch was very passionate about movies. He co-founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, a huge producer and distributor of independent films. He wanted to make sure people saw interesting and different movies, movies he’d want to watch, instead of movies that were easily marketable.
You were one of a kind, Adam. RIP MCA.
Here are some of my favorite Beastie Boys videos he directed as Nathaniel Hörnblowér.