Monday Fresh: Beastie Boys Adam Yauch Passes Away

Adam Yauch, one-third of the pioneering hip-hop group Beastie Boys, has died at the age of 47.

Monday Fresh: Beastie Boys Adam Yauch Passes Away
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Adam Yauch, one-third of the pioneering hip-hop group Beastie Boys, has died at the age of 47. Yauch, also known as MCA, had been undergoing a cancer treatment since 2009 after discovering a tumor in his salivary gland. The Beastie Boys' publicity firm has sent out a press release confirming Yauch passed away on May 4th in New York. Read the entire release below: "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 "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, Beastie Boys would go on to sell over 40 million records, win three Grammys and release four #1 albums, including the first hip-hop album ever to top the Billboard 200 the band's 1986 debut full length LP "Licensed To Ill". 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 classic Beastie Boys albums as "Paul's Boutique" and "Ill Communication", 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. 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. Under the alias of Nathanial Hörnblowér, Yauch directed iconic Beastie Boys videos including "So What'cha 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. Many of the Beastie Boys' peers and friends have reacted to the saddening news: Russell Simmons, a longtime friend of the Beasties, said on his Global Grind website, "Adam was incredibly sweet and the most sensitive artist, who I loved dearly. I was always inspired by his work. He will be missed by all of us." Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong (@BJAofficial) tweeted, "Lollapalooza94 talked to Yauch almost everyday He was full of wisdom & encouragement for a freaked out kid like I was. Thank you MCA. LoveBJ". Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea (@flea333) said, "Prayers and all the love I could ever muster for Adam Yauch. What a beautiful man. God bless his beautiful soul. A class act all the way". In a statement posted online, Michael Stipe and R.E.M. said, "We've lost one of our greats. A true gentleman with the strongest resolve, humor, and energy to spin the world on its axis... And that is exactly what he did. Let's not forget he did it with panache and style and beats and in various costumes. Even while dressed as a Swiss mountain climber. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Beasties and to Adam's family and fans." Tom Morello (@tmorello) said, "Rip dear Adam Yauch. Words can't express the sadness and loss. Ur humor, talent & gentle soul are just irreplaceable. Be at peace brother". Guitar great Slash (@Slash) said, "Sad day. MCA was f--king awesome. RIP man. We'll miss you very much." Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic (@KristNovoselic) said, "Adam Yauch #RIPMCA. Thank you for Sabotage bass riff and many other great grooves. Adam also worked for justice and peace consciousness." Drummer Travis Barker (@travisbarker) said, "Rest In Peace Adam Yauch /MCA. 4ever somebody I looked up to & had the pleasure of meeting. Damn this bums me out, we lost one of the best". Yauch is survived by his wife Dechen and his daughter Tenzin Losel, as well as his parents Frances and Noel Yauch. Our prayers go out to the family of Adam and the entire Beastie Boys crew.

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    Stratus475
    Screw cancer. Imagine all the great artists we'd still have with us if cancer didn't exist.
    headstone05
    A man who was a large part of my childhood has passed. Yet through his work, he still keeps that childhood alive.
    burndttoast
    Not that I'm butt-hurt over this, but titling this article with "Monday Fresh" in it when his death occurred last Friday just seems a little disrespectful. It just screams "I didn't care to acknowledge this until 3 days later"-- at least to me, anyways. In any case, I can't say that I was a huge fan of the Beastie Boys, but I get their influence on music-- even more so now that so many artists have expressed their feelings about one of them in particular. Still bums me out.
    Vypor
    I'm pretty bummed out about MCA's passing - but on the bright side of things, I'm happy that he got to live with his RNRHOF induction before his demise.
    Thrash_Attack
    iommi600 wrote: burndttoast wrote: Not that I'm butt-hurt over this, but titling this article with "Monday Fresh" in it when his death occurred last Friday just seems a little disrespectful. It just screams "I didn't care to acknowledge this until 3 days later"-- at least to me, anyways. In any case, I can't say that I was a huge fan of the Beastie Boys, but I get their influence on music-- even more so now that so many artists have expressed their feelings about one of them in particular. Still bums me out. It's because UG does not post anything on weekends. Most of the time they're actually on time with the news. Anyway, this is really sad. May he RIP.
    They posted during the weekend when Amy Winehouse died, so why wouldn't they post anything when Yauch died instead of waiting three days?
    goochmaster15
    I never got to see Beastie Boys in concert. Looks like THAT'S never gonna happen... RIP Adam, we're all gonna miss you.
    What's a genre?
    My dad raised me on Beastie Boys, like most parents raise their kids on The Beatles. I'm going to be sad about this for a long time
    Mack888
    Always sucks when someone who has achieved so much and who still has so much to bring to the world passes. RIP
    Rands2113
    Really sad news. My heart literally dropped when i found out about this a couple days ago. I had to get surgery with Lisence to Ill blasting through my speakers. I don't listen to coldplay but that was an awesome tribute!!! RIP MCA
    jrodgers
    Beautiful job by coldplay there, couldn't imagine a better tribute. Beastie Boys will always bring up some of the best memories of my childhood, and songs like this remind me that there's a part of me that will always be a knucklehead teenager. Thanks for everything MCA, because of you and your boys we'll NEVER stop "doing it with a wiffle ball bat"!
    i_am_metalhead
    iommi600 wrote: burndttoast wrote: Not that I'm butt-hurt over this, but titling this article with "Monday Fresh" in it when his death occurred last Friday just seems a little disrespectful. It just screams "I didn't care to acknowledge this until 3 days later"-- at least to me, anyways. In any case, I can't say that I was a huge fan of the Beastie Boys, but I get their influence on music-- even more so now that so many artists have expressed their feelings about one of them in particular. Still bums me out. It's because UG does not post anything on weekends. Most of the time they're actually on time with the news. Anyway, this is really sad. May he RIP.
    UG is NEVER on time with their "news". They are always a couple days behind. I read articles on other sites and its always at least two days before I see it on UG. Anyway, RIP MCA.
    ledzep426
    They were suck a good band. RIP MCA. Plus that Coldplay did a cool job with that tribute.
    AeroRocker
    TNA wrote: UG should stop posting news. Updating the site once a day with the headlines isn't really considered posting music news.
    People already complain all the time with "this isn't even news!!!" comments and the like, since it's hard to find that much music related news every single day. Finding even more topics to post would not sit well with the users methinks. Anyway, RIP to a legend. Checked.
    Csimmons1267
    Looks like that castle in Brooklyn has one less person dwelling in it. I was literally in a state of mini depression all Friday, MCA will be my favorite Beastie forever.
    iommi600
    burndttoast wrote: Not that I'm butt-hurt over this, but titling this article with "Monday Fresh" in it when his death occurred last Friday just seems a little disrespectful. It just screams "I didn't care to acknowledge this until 3 days later"-- at least to me, anyways. In any case, I can't say that I was a huge fan of the Beastie Boys, but I get their influence on music-- even more so now that so many artists have expressed their feelings about one of them in particular. Still bums me out.
    It's because UG does not post anything on weekends. Most of the time they're actually on time with the news. Anyway, this is really sad. May he RIP.
    MetalMike676
    So Whitney Houston dies, UG Updates the headline news the second it's announced. MCA Dies and they hold off until Moday to post it...
    Zanos7
    Bas76 wrote: I hated their music. And ppl get cancer because they eat cancer or live like cancer. Good riddance!
    My brother in law is a loving, kind and generous person, he is always giving his all to charity and fund-raising events. Does not smoke, eats healthy and looks after himself and his family. We have recently discovered that he has Brain Cancer and a deadly Tumour, he has about 6 months to live. He didn't live or eat cancer. So have respect, Cancer is never funny. Nor is death.
    smittyanthrax
    Bas76 wrote: I hated their music. And ppl get cancer because they eat cancer or live like cancer. Good riddance!
    You are a horrible disgusting little shit.Big whoop you didnt like their music.Show a little respect not to just Adam but to other Cancer patients.
    xplosive59
    Sad news indeed although late news now it doesnt take away from the fact that this guy was one of the early pioneers of Hip Hop and a damn good bassist at that. RIP MCA
    SFosterS
    Mom you're just jealous... It's the Beas-T-BOYS! R.I.P. Thank you for Ill Communication.
    GREENWARRI0R
    burndttoast wrote: iommi600 wrote: burndttoast wrote: Not that I'm butt-hurt over this, but titling this article with "Monday Fresh" in it when his death occurred last Friday just seems a little disrespectful. It just screams "I didn't care to acknowledge this until 3 days later"-- at least to me, anyways. In any case, I can't say that I was a huge fan of the Beastie Boys, but I get their influence on music-- even more so now that so many artists have expressed their feelings about one of them in particular. Still bums me out. It's because UG does not post anything on weekends. Most of the time they're actually on time with the news. Anyway, this is really sad. May he RIP.I've seen UG post news midday before. I don't see why they couldn't have done that.
    Pretty much this. Is it really that big a deal to post midday, or during the weekend for a breaking event? Not that Im angry or anything, I just think it would make UG a better website in the long run. but I digress, as this is about the loss of a truly amazing musician, and person in general. This is the first death of an artist that has really hit home with me.
    burndttoast
    iommi600 wrote: burndttoast wrote: Not that I'm butt-hurt over this, but titling this article with "Monday Fresh" in it when his death occurred last Friday just seems a little disrespectful. It just screams "I didn't care to acknowledge this until 3 days later"-- at least to me, anyways. In any case, I can't say that I was a huge fan of the Beastie Boys, but I get their influence on music-- even more so now that so many artists have expressed their feelings about one of them in particular. Still bums me out. It's because UG does not post anything on weekends. Most of the time they're actually on time with the news. Anyway, this is really sad. May he RIP.
    I've seen UG post news midday before. I don't see why they couldn't have done that.
    kopij1989
    Bas76 wrote: I hated their music. And ppl get cancer because they eat cancer or live like cancer. Good riddance!
    You're a joke. Cancer is proven to be mostly genetic and MCA was noted for his healthy lifestyle. And who gives a good goddamn if you hated their music? You show respect where it's due. I get flack for not being a Beatles fan but I will never, NEVER disrespect their music for what they did for music. Beastie Boys float in a similar realm although obviously not anywhere near to the caliber of the Beatles. Also, since this is Ultimate-Guitar let's not forget the Beastie Boys started as a Hardcore/Punk band and put out 1 Hardcore album in the 90s and an instrumental Jam compililation where they played all the instruments and played them well at that. Also let's not forget that all the guitar you heard on License To Ill was Kerry King and Jeff Hannemann. So their influence is obvious. So uh yeah, eat shit.
    Whiteboy_az
    Loved these guys even with their Punk stuff back in the 70s and 80s. R.I.P. you Funky Monkey
    LazyHardRocker
    He died much too soon. This guy was one of the true greats back when hip hop was still worth listening to. RIP MCA
    Zoltan1251
    Bas76 wrote: I hated their music. And ppl get cancer because they eat cancer or live like cancer. Good riddance!
    if this was true you are next
    JazzGuy111
    R.I.P. MCA. You were an outstanding musician, and just an amazing person in general. I cannot thank you enough from your music to your activism in Tibet, and everything in between. Rest in peace Adam, you will be missed.
    milanio
    True inspiration to most of us, at least he got both girls, and the right to party. I love the Beastie Boys.
    TNA
    It's rare the UG ever posts anything on time. Nearly all of the articles can be found on sites like Blabbermouth at least a day before. UG should stop posting news. Updating the site once a day with the headlines isn't really considered posting music news. Plus the writing in the articles is getting worse and worse. I already said it when this event actually happened but I'll say it again, RIP MCA
    daveytwardy
    Wow....How is UG getting these hot scoops before anyone else? Tomorrows headline (THE BEATLES BREAK UP)