Adam Yauch Aug. 5, 1964 - May 3, 2012 Founder of Popular Hip-Hop Group Beastie Boys

By McKinley, James C | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), May 5, 2012 | Go to article overview

Adam Yauch Aug. 5, 1964 - May 3, 2012 Founder of Popular Hip-Hop Group Beastie Boys


McKinley, James C, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Adam Yauch, one of the founders of the seminal hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, died Friday of cancer at the age of 47, according to the website of the band's publicist.

Mr. Yauch, who went by the moniker MCA, had been battling cancer since 2009, when a tumor was discovered in his salivary gland. He did not come to the Beastie Boys' induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April, and his treatments for the illness forced the group to delay the release of their last album, "Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2."

Emerging from the hard-core punk scene in New York in the late 1970s, the Beastie Boys were the first white group to successfully sing rap songs and have remained popular for more than a quarter century. Mr. Yauch co-founded the group with Mike Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) as a punk band in 1981 and first began experimenting with hip-hop the following year, when they released a 12-inch vinyl rap spoof, "Cookie Puss." All three were teenagers from affluent New York families when they met.

But in 1986, they crossed into the rap mainstream with "Licensed to Ill," which was the first hip-hop album to hit No. 1 on the albums chart and featured hits such as "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)" and "Brass Monkey. …

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