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Saturday, May 26, 2012

Legends: Beastie Boys, MCA

I first heard the Beastie Boys on Z103.1 Sunday Night At The Rap in 1985. Their debut single on this station was “She’s On It”. I recorded it on cassette the first night they played it and brought my boom box to school with me the next day and bragged about having this new song called “She’s On It”. In 1986, Z103.1 Sunday Night At The Rap started playing “Hold It Now, Hit It”. This is the last year of B-Boyin’ in my city due to over-exposure of it and “Hold It Now, Hit It” was a favorite of mine and my crew to dance to. I bought their album “Licensed To Ill” in Nov 1986 and I became a Beastie fan for life.
In 1987, I was runnin’ around poppin’ VW emblems off of VW’s so I could make my own Mike-D necklace. I’ve been chased many times across my neighborhood by angry VW owners because their car was missing their emblem. I was also lucky enough to go to the “Licensed To Ill Concert” in ’87. One of the best concerts I have ever been to. Beastie Boys are amazing live. Their “Rhymin’ & Stealin’” video shows the basics of what that concert was like. Memorable...
Beastie Boys is one of the greatest Hip Hop groups ever. Why are they one of the greatest? At that time, Hip Hop was not that widely accepted. It was still considered a fad and not real music. When Beastie Boys released “Licensed To Ill”, that album made people pay attention to Hip Hop. It was released Nov 15, 1986 and 3 months later it was certified platinum. That was huge sales for Hip Hop in 86/87. Their second album, “Paul’s Boutique” is considered The Beatles White Album of Hip Hop. What Hip Hop sounds like. Throughout their career the Beastie Boys always stayed consistent with their albums. They always represented our culture to the fullest through their music and never selling out. Their focus was music. Not fashion, cars, guns, who’s more gangsta, or any of that non-sense that plagues Hip Hop today. They were about crafting classic albums and staying true to the roots of Hip Hop. They are creative, talented & original. That’s why they are one of the greatest Hip Hop groups in history. Over 22 million albums sold in the U.S. alone. Thank you Beastie Boys for all those years of hard work and dedication you put in for our culture. Adam Yauch aka MCA will be deeply missed...
Here is a great piece written about MCA on
Adam Yauch • 1964-2012
It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam "MCA" Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys and also of the Milarepa Foundation that produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits, and film production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories, passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer. He was 47 years old.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Yauch taught himself to play bass in high school, forming a band for his 17th birthday party that would later become known the world over as Beastie Boys.

With fellow members Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Adrock" Horovitz, Beastie Boys would go on to sell over 40 million records, release four #1 albums–including the first hip hop album ever to top the Billboard 200, the band's 1986 debut full length, Licensed To Ill–win three Grammys, and the MTV Video Vanguard Lifetime Achievement award. Last month Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with Diamond and Horovitz reading an acceptance speech on behalf of Yauch, who was unable to attend.

In addition to his hand in creating such historic Beastie Boys albums as Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head, Ill Communication, Hello Nasty and more, Yauch was a founder of the Milarepa Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and activism regarding the injustices perpetrated on native Tibetans by Chinese occupational government and military forces. In 1996, Milarepa produced the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, which was attended by 100,000 people, making it the biggest benefit concert on U.S. soil since 1985's Live Aid. The Tibetan Freedom Concert series would continue to stage some of the most significant benefit shows in the world for nearly a decade following in New York City, Washington DC, Tokyo, Sydney, Amsterdam, Taipei and other cities.

In the wake of September 11, 2001, Milarepa organized New Yorkers Against Violence, a benefit headlined by Beastie Boys at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, with net proceeds disbursed to the New York Women's Foundation Disaster Relief Fund and the New York Association for New Americans (NYANA) September 11th Fund for New Americans–each chosen for their efforts on behalf of 9/11 victims least likely to receive help from other sources.

Under the alias of Nathanial Hörnblowér, Yauch directed iconic Beastie Boys videos including "So Whatcha Want," "Intergalactic," "Body Movin" and "Ch-Check It Out." Under his own name, Yauch directed last year's Fight For Your Right Revisited, an extended video for "Make Some Noise" from Beastie Boys' Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, starring Elijah Wood, Danny McBride and Seth Rogen as the 1986 Beastie Boys, making their way through a half hour of cameo-studded misadventures before squaring off against Jack Black, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as Beastie Boys of the future.

Yauch's passion and talent for filmmaking led to his founding of Oscilloscope Laboratories, which in 2008 released his directorial film debut, the basketball documentary Gunnin' For That #1 Spot and has since become a major force in independent video distribution, amassing a catalogue of such acclaimed titles as Kelly Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy, Oren Moverman's The Messenger, Banksy's Exit Through The Gift Shop, Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze's Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait Of Maurice Sendak, and many more.

Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen and his daughter Tenzin Losel, as well as his parents Frances and Noel Yauch.

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