Remembering Adam Yauch, 'MCA'
Published: Monday, May 14, 2012
Updated: Monday, August 27, 2012 16:08
There’s one less B-boy geekin’ with the speed freaks, as Adam Yauch, former Beastie Boys member, lies pressed beneath six feet of ground.
May 4, 2012, Yauch was claimed by cancer, the salivary kind to be specific, which was diagnosed in 2009. Prior to death he missed multiple shows, canceled video filmings and apologized to band mates and fans alike.
Under the cloak of mourning of his permanent absence, a magnificent human is remembered. This innovator transcended the East Coast/West Coast rivalry with an infectious brand of sabotage.
Rooted in a rhythmic, hardcore vibe the Beasties rapped about everything from car thieves to the importance of maintaining cultural developments.
“It takes a second to wreck it, it takes time to build” states one of their songs off the 2004 album, “The 5 Boroughs.”
Every work of art, from “Licensed to Ill,” “Paul’s Boutique,” “The Mix Up” and “Check Your Head,” challenged musical standards with content and sound.
“To me, the Beastie Boys are a perfect combination between classic hip-hop and post punk. They’re a group of people who are genuinely funny but not all up in your face about it,” said DePaul junior Charlotte Peters.
In music videos, Yauch participates in all kinds of absurd behavior. In the video “Intergalactic,” he dons a yellow hardhat and matching boots to slay a robot with his revolutionary rhymes. In the video “So What Cha Want,” he gets up in viewers’ faces and questions the legitimacy of their knowledge.
“These guys are just simply fantastic,” said Peters.
Besides being described as “simply fantastic,” MCA (Yauch’s Beastie Boy nickname) has been described as one who lives a life of no regrets by the Huffington Post.
Such accomplishments have allowed this man entry into a world that exists far beyond the confines of music. Without Capitol Records, a company in which Yauch has ownership, bands like At the Drive In, Ben Lee and Luscious Jackson would only have beginnings.
In 1994, Yauch founded the Milarepa Fund, a non-profit organization designed to highlight awareness of the Chinese oppression in Tibet. In a 1995 interview with PBS he said, “I think we’re often led to believe that it’s just celebrities [that] have some ability to effect change but I think that what’s important for us to realize is that everyone of us affects the world constantly through our actions, through our every smallest action, through our every thought, our every word, the way that we interact with other people. We’re constantly affecting the world.”
He also staged a relief concert after Sept. 11 and even occupied Wall Street to fight the greed of corporate banks.
Through music and action this man played a much larger role in the voice of the voiceless. For that, devoted listeners feel a strong sense of gratitude. Thank you, Mr. Yauch, for the rump shakin’ and rhyme makin’, for all the girls and the ill communication. Your existence set a standard for not only the community of hip-hop but for all rhyme-sayers longing to effect a change.