Rapper, activist and director Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys has passed away at the age of 47, after a lengthy battle with cancer.
The news was first announced on Friday (May 4) by Def Jam founder Russell Simmons’ website Global Grind, which stated,
"One of our heroes, Adam Yauch aka MCA of the Beastie Boys has passed this morning after a long bout with cancer. Our prayers go out to the family of Adam and the entire Beastie Boys crew."
The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame just a few weeks ago, although Yauch’s health issues prevented him from joining bandmates Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz at the ceremony.
In his introduction at the event, Public Enemy rapper Chuck D said the Beastie Boys "broke the mold."
"They brought a whole new look to rap and hip-hop. They proved that rap could come from any street - not just a few."
Not only was Yauch a member of the iconic and innovative punk band turned rap trio that helped shape the course of hip-hop history with tracks such as ‘Fight For Your Right (To Party)’ and ‘Intergalactic’, he was also a humanitarian activist and the founder of film distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories.
Yauch will be sorely missed by millions of music fans, but the Beastie Boys’ influence on hip-hop and pop culture will continue to resonate for generations to come. R.I.P, MCA.
See more from the Beastie Boys in the clip below…