Fans, friends and the music industry mourn the passing of a Hip Hop pioneer. Still, Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's life points to a man who's legacy went beyond musical accolades.
Almost three years after finding a cancerous tumor on his parotid gland Adam Yauch (MCA) acquiesced to the illness on May 4th, 2012. Since then fans, friends, and fellow artists have mourned Adam’s life and work through their words and actions.
In truth there is much to mourn, and much to remember. As a founding member of the Beastie Boys, Yauch was largely responsible for the most successful album of Rap’s introductory decade, ( I.E. License to Ill). Thereafter, alongside Micheal “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad Rock” Horowitz, the Beastie Boys released seven subsequent and markedly successful albums. These eight unique endeavors led to three Grammys and over twenty million records sold. This awarded financial feat was honored by the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this past April.
[Mike D & Ad-Rock Pay tribute to their Beastie Brother]
These accolades helped Adam launch Oscilloscope Laboratories, an independent film company responsible for fifty cinematic projects over the past ten years. In addition to this vast array of artistry Yauch spearheaded several ventures starring his musical teammates and their recordings. Last year MTV rewarded one of these directorial undertakings, the star-studded “Make Some Noise” music video. However, his audio and visual brilliance was just a side of his genius.
Being a devout Buddhist Yauch founded The Milarepa Fund in 1994 to bring awareness to the Tibetan’s plight. His honest humanitarian efforts led him to Dechen Wangdu. The American born activist of Tibetan decent met Adam at Harvard in 1995. The two soon married and developed the Tibetan Freedom Concert(s). The profits from these six outings were used to assist the people of Tibet in their quest for freedom. During this time the two brought their daughter, Tenzin Losel, into the world.
As a cornerstone of Def Jam Records, MCA and his fellow Beastie Boys helped ensure that Hip Hop would endure through the ages. As a filmmaker, Yauch helped fellow directors bring their stories to life. As an activist Adam helped bring awareness to the West about the problems in the East. As a husband and father he honored his family’s privacy. And as a spiritual beacon in an industry too often void of depth, he has reminded us in his passing that though life is an impermanent, an honorable man lives forever.
Peace be with you MCA, your wife, daughter, and fellow Beastie Boys.