We all know by now that we’ve recently lost one of the world’s most talented white rappers, Adam Yauch. He was a significant part of the hip hop trio, the “Beastie Boys”, the ground breaking group that helped propel hip hop into the mainstream, and went by the stage name of MCA.
But he wasn’t just an American rapper and songwriter alone – MCA was also a film director with a few indie films under his belt. In 2002, he founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, a New York-based indie film production and distribution company.
And that was not all. He was also a practicing Buddhist who took his beliefs to a whole new level when he played a big part in the Tibetan Independence Movement.
He was the man behind the creation of the Milarepa Fund (a non-profit organization devoted to Tibetan independence), and he also single-handedly organized several benefit concerts to support the cause.
Including the Tibetan Freedom Concert, a series of rock festivals held between 1996 and 2001:
[youtube id=”DJjuwutaCxQ” width=”600″ height=”350″]
In 2009, he was diagnosed with cancer after discovering a tumor in his salivary gland. A year later, it was announced that the Beastie Boys had sold 40 million records worldwide and therefore, earned themselves an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The official event took place a month ago, in April 2012. The seriousness of his illness was evident when he was unable to attend the event.
His Beastie Boys bandmates, Diamond and Horovitz, paid a tribute and read his heartfelt letter to the crowd:
I’d like to dedicate this award to my brothers, Adam and Mike, who’ve walked the globe with me.
To anyone who’s been touched by our band, who our music has meant something to, this induction is as much ours as it is yours. To Kate Schellenbach. To John Berry. To John Berry’s loft on 100th St. in Brooklyn where John’s dad would come busting in during our first practices screaming, “Would you turn that f—ing s— off already!”…
To my loving and supportive parents, Noel and Frances Yauch, and to our home in Brooklyn where we used to practice on hot Brooklyn days after school, windows wide open to disturb the neighborhood…
But most of all I’d like to thank and dedicate this honor to my smart, beautiful and loving wife Dechen and our sweet, talented, loving daughter Tenzin. Never has a man felt more blessed than I to be able to spend my time with my two soulmates. I love you guys more than you know.
I wish I could name everyone who deserves to be named, but of course there’s too many names to name. You know who you are, and I sent my love out to all of you.
Your friend, Adam Yauch.
On the 4th of May 2012, MCA passed on after his three-year-long battle with cancer. He was only 47 years old. Our hearts go out to the Beastie Boys, their families, and friends. Rest in peace, Adam Youch.