Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch (AKA MCA) is dead.
about what ultimately took his life have not yet been released. UPDATE: The rapper and activist's publicist just released a statement about the cause of death.
Over the last few years, he publicly battled stomach cancer, going vegan and meditating as an alternative treatment. And while the Buddhist Yauch's body may have succumbed to Earthly peril today, his soul soars through the cosmos and his music lives forever.
Official Statement on the Death of Adam Yauch
"It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam 'MCA' Yauch ... passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer. He was 47 years old."
The Beastie Boys started in New York City in 1979 as a hardcore crew of punks influenced by sneaking into shows by bands like The Bad Brains. When the band played its first show (which might have included the early classic "Egg Raid On Mojo"), Yauch was only 17.
In 1983, the Beasties put out the single "Cooky Puss" and hip-hop was forever changed. The novelty track was inspired by the first wave of rap music, just then blowing up in NYC. And it led to 30 more years of killer boom-bap.
They hired a DJ for their live show. And that was Rick Rubin, who would end up producing Licensed To Ill, the classic album that became first hip-hop album to hit #1 on Billboard's album chart. It features the hits "Fight For Your Right To Party," "Brass Monkey," "No Sleep Till Brooklyn," and "Girls."
The Beastie Boys were white boys who made hip-hop 'cause they didn't give a fuck. They liked this music. They listened to this music. They made this music.
R.I.P, MCA. See ya on the other side, dude.