Adam Yauch - Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch: Hip-hop Loses One Of Its True Pioneers
With the death of sad death of Adam Yauch - known worldwide as Mca - the world has lost one of the true pioneers of modern hip-hop with the 47 year-old, alongside Ad-Rock and Mike D, blazing a trail as the hugely critically and commercially successful group The Beastie Boys. One of the first groups to truly cross the genre divide of rock and the then burgeoning hip-hop scene, the group brought the two styles together to devastating effect, Mca playing a key part in an act that saw all of its members integral to one another.
Yauch was born in Brooklyn to a catholic father and a Jewish mother; teaching himself bass guitar in high school, Yauch played his first show with the Beastie Boys on his 17th birthday as the group debuted as a hardcore punk band. It was a style that they never truly left behind, instead refining it in order to marry it towards the hip-hop explosion that was taking place in New York at the time. Incorporating rap into their set from the mid 90s, the group became a trio and released their hugely influential debut album 'License To Ill' in 1986. Having slimmed down to a three-piece in 1983 it was the result of years of graft, and the result was massive, the LP going a phenomenal nine times platinum in the US, topping the US Billboard Charts and becoming the first hip-hop record to do so in the first place. They followed this up with 'Paul's Boutique' in 1989 and 'Check Your Head' in 1992 before a trio of more Billboard chart toppers in the form of 1994's 'Ill Communication,'1998's 'Hello Nasty' and 2004's 'To The 5 Boroughs.'
A key member in the group beyond the music, Yauch directed the group's videos under the pseudonym Nathaniel Hornblower and went on to run a film and production company, Oscilloscope Pictures, that was recently behind the Lcd Soundsystem documentary 'Shut Up and Play The Hits' among many others. Yauch was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, causing the delay of their latest album 'Hot Sauce Committee.' He leaves behind a wife and daughter.