On Friday Adam Yauch, AKA MCA of The Beastie Boys, passed away at 47, of cancer. I don’t need to eulogize too much, because there are already some great tributes out there, like this in the LA Times, this from the Beastie Boys website, and Nathan Rabin’s piece on the A.V. Club. And many more besides; everybody was a fan of the Beastie Boys. Even a grieving China has freed Tibet, following news of his death.
But I do I just want to say that MCA taught me to fight for my right to party when I was young and needed to learn that, or needed a musical outlet to listen to. Then, later on, he showed me how to grow up and be a grown-up, without ever losing that spirit of fun and creativity and messing around. What an inspiration. Thank you.
I do some rapping occasionally, which I can fairly confidently say I wouldn’t ever have dreamt of, or actually stepped up to do, if not for the Beastie Boys. There are probably more than a few fun-loving white guy rappers out there who would say the same thing. Listen to the See Spot Rhyme song Tight & Funky and see if you can spot the Beasties influence (hint: you can).
Six years ago I had the chance to say thanks to him in person. At the time I wrote: I hope he understood all the subtext; that the “thanks” was really for providing me with many a track on the soundtrack to my life and a lot to look up to in my formative years.
Mostly, I just want to say thanks again.