The rapper produced the band's last album, Build a Nation, and frontman H.R. and his bandmates wanted to pay a special tribute to Yauch while recording Into the Future.
Bassist Darryl Jenifer tells Rolling Stone, "He was a good friend and fan of the band, always was our number one supporter out of celebrities or whatever. We knew each other from way back. We were in bands together. I played in his band Brooklyn. He's still doing his thing, spiritually."
H.R. admits Yauch's death in May (12) re-inspired him to make the best album possible: "I wanted to put something on paper, on track, that he would enjoy."