Yesterday I learned of the sad news that Adam Yauch, known as MCA from the rap group The Beastie Boys, has passed on after a three year battle with cancer.
I’ve been a fan of the Beastie Boys since seeing them in 1988 at Nassau Coliseum on Run DMC‘s Run’s House Tour. I can honestly say that without their influence I would not be the person I am today. Besides breaking the racial barrier for rap music and providing a soundtrack for much of my youth, they proved that if you are passionate enough about something you can make a difference… even when the odds may seem impossible.
While early on Yauch embodied the bands modus operandi of drinking, girls, and beligerance… in his later years he focused that into becoming a strong voice for those who were being shouted over by others. He was instrumental in the creation of the Free Tibet concerts and organized a fundraiser after 9/11 for charities helping those least likely to get assistance elsewhere… like the families of undocumented wait staff working at Windows of the World.
The Beastie Boys touched many of us in a variety of ways. My fondest memories of my youth include being gathered around a campfire deep in the woods of New Jersey entertained by tales of missing golden arms, roasted marshmallows, fire walking (with boots on of course), and performing Paul Revere acapella. Those were more than good times… they were ill times.
Thank you MCA for having helped, albeit unknowingly, forge me into the person I am today.
Good journey Adam “MCA” Yauch… good journey…