The “Top 5 Irreplaceable Beastie Boys Moments In Rap History” (R.I.P. MCA)

Yes, it’s true.

Adam “MCA” Yauch passed away today, Friday, May 4, 2012, at age 47.

Sadly, the full threesome that was the Beastie Boys is now missing a member, and at, we’re now missing a pioneer and influential friend.

The Beastie Boys were and are a veritable force to be reckoned with – their eclectic styles, rooted in the foundation of New York Hip-Hop and led by some of the most brilliant business and music minds ever, are things to marvel.

And, although he leaves behind his partners Michael “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz to carry the torch, MCA’s contributions will never be forgotten. In his memory, we offer the “Top 5 Irreplaceable Beastie Boys Moments in Rap History”:

5. Finding the Gumption to Catapult Themselves Into Longevity

Lifelong Beastie Boys fans might remember that the trio rode the wave to the top of Hip-Hop early on with a sound that was new but not so far-fetched, even to inner city kids who didn’t know Rock. That in itself was already a feat, considering the group’s initial place in Hardcore Punk before they made the transition to MC’ing. But the Rock infusion stuck around, and the goodness kept coming.

With smarts, creative visuals, and lots of zaniness in their production, over the years, the Beastie Boys dared to release the very different. Different paid off, as Hello Nasty, in 1998, earned them two Grammy Awards – one for Best Alternative Music Performance (Hello Nasty) and Best Performance by a Rap Group (or Duo) for the album track, “Intergalactic”.

4. Paving The Way for Rap In The Mainstream, No Matter What Their Color

In the early to mid-‘80s, the genre known as Rap was still a baby – restless, misunderstood, and sometimes scary to the larger audience. And while Rap was nearly 99% dominated by Black youngsters at the time, thank goodness for the Beastie Boys, who helped make the music more palatable to the corporate big wigs who ran the industry.

The Beastie Boys’ “creamy” complexions were just the ticket we needed to infiltrate MTV and the CD game – in fact, Licensed to Ill was considered one of the first rap albums to be plated on the new disk technology in 1986.

3. Having the Forethought To Work With Early Def Jam Geniuses Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons

Russell Simmons wasn’t nearly as flossy, and Rick Rubin was just as much a hippie then – but they both had their finger on the pulse of Hip-Hop. The two, who met in a college dorm in New York, didn’t know it yet, but with the Beastie Boys and Run-DMC in tow, they were about to make beautiful music together.

It was their fledgling Def Jam that cranked out the Beastie Boys’ first recording, “Rock Hard”, in 1984. And the rest is Hip-Hop history…

2. A Well-Deserved Induction into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame

It seems as if God’s timing knows best. Just three weeks ago (on April 15, 2012), the Beastie Boys were inducted into the coveted Rock N Roll Hall of Fame, and celebrated for their nearly 30-year contributions to the music industry. The late MCA was too ill to attend, but Chuck D was there to present the award, and his groupmates and friends like The Roots, Travie McCoy, and Kid Rock partied hard and acknowledged him well before his passing.

“We’re in the rock and roll hall of fame? That’s f*ckin’ crazy and awesome! While we are very proud of the music we make, we have to acknowledge the inspiration from our families, friends and musicians like the slits, bad brains, x-ray spex, the treacherous three and too many others to possibly name. And most of all, we give thanks to New York City and the world of musical influence it provided for us,” the Beastie Boys said in a statement about the auspicious occasion.

1. The Classic Work of Art That Is Licensed To Ill

When the Beastie Boys kicked in Rap’s doors in the mid-‘80s, the naysayers didn’t even have time to hate! Whether created by White, Black, or in between, good Hip-Hop is what it is. The budding industry at the time took notice, marveling at the fresh feeling that the Beastie Boys brought to the game.

With classic production, memorable titles, and lyrics that made you laugh out loud, Licensed To Ill brought diversity to the field in 1986, opening up endless possibilities for the genre in the future. It was also the first of four platinum-plus selling albums for the group, going on to sell over nine million copies worldwide. That’s ill.

Rest in peace to Adam “MCA” Yauch, and long live the Beasties! Share your own memories below.

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26 Responses to “The “Top 5 Irreplaceable Beastie Boys Moments In Rap History” (R.I.P. MCA)”

  1. StackzScrilla

    The Beastie Boys paved the way for Hip-Hop reguardless of the skin tone. They got down with the old school heavy weights and bridged the gap from white america to black america. I remember the VW chain they use to rock around the neck before brothtas was rockin that big medallion. I pray for this family and fans of the Beastie Boys. My you RIP Adam.

    • churchboy2

      Volkswagon had to start selling those joints in stores just to stop kids from stealing them off of cars. LOL

      • StackzScrilla

         LOL!! I believe it my guy. Thinking in retrospect i think i snatched mine off a VW Bug… Hahaha.

      • CaliTransplant

         Hell yea! LOL I remember that! Man, you weren’t safe if you had a VW in my neighborhood. It was getting ganked! We all had em that year! RIP MCA… I have some of my most fond memories with my friends while the B-Boys tape was played over and over and over…paul revere one of the most timeless hip hop songs ever and i don’t care what kind of party you went to, that album and Bob Marley’s Legend is getting played!

  2. Biba Adams

    Sad story… Thank you for honoring this group. They deserved their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

  3. churchboy2

    Great article.

    I remember interviewing L.O.N.S. in the 90s and hearing them talk about the great influence the Beasties were on them and hip-hop as a whole.

  4. Jduex

    My name is Jeff and found Hip-Hop in 1980as a 14 year old snotty nose kid looking for something ofther than Heavy Metal music. I heard some one in my neighborhood out here in Iowa playing Kurtis Blow and was hooked. I fell in love with Hip-Hop!! Man this is totally a bum day. RIP MCA and I send my respects to his Mom and Dad, Wife and Daughter, AD-Rock, Mike D, Mix Master Mike, DJ Hurricane, DJ Doctor Dre–Ed Lover, Rick Rubin, Russel Simmons, Rev Run, DMC, Q-Tip. I will always be Rockin the Beasties joints!! Mad Love…..

  5. Black Exodus

    License to Ill…played the “Tape Cassette” till it broke… 1986!  Enough Said….RIP TO MCA!    

  6. ccwaterbound32

    well at least we all know what they’ll jam for new years! GOTTA FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO PARTY BABY!!! RIP MCA !!! BEASTIES 4EVER!!!!

  7. Ravi Singh

    they had some of the dopest beats in hip hop on that album.  paul revere, slow and low, the new style, hold it now hit it and all the rest.  trust me if rappers were hating and dissing skin, deep down it wasn’t race at all – they wished they had those beats and thought of those hooks and concepts.

  8. VentKing11

    Hey, everybody gotta go sometimes but at least you rocked the hell out of it while you were here MCA. One of the highlights of my childhood youth was getting my hands on that “Licensed to III” album. “Paul Revere” blew my mind.  Hip-hop was truly golden back in those days and I wouldn’t trade my teenagehood for nothing mainly because of contributions of that golden era which definitely include MCA and his bandmates, the Beastie Boys. RIP

  9. HipHopStalker

    The Beastie Boys helped Hip Hop in many ways and continue to get my respect for always being true to there own sound and not trying to be like other rappers or later other rock acts that used rap. I still would rather listen to a beastie boys album before most of these so called hip hop albums today.

  10. water_ur_seeds

    i remember being like 6 years old and listening to my brothers beastie boy tapes, still bumping them in my ipod at gym years later… rip starrr

  11. Calvin 2.0

    i remember loving videos like “intergalactic” and “sabotage” when i was about 8. this and PE were my first glimpses of hip hop.  

  12. maura

    Even though im only 24, i have so much respect for what makes the Beastie Boys who they are. All “rappers” today hardly have the talent that the beastie Boys had. Rock stars or rappers, i challenge all musicians to make pure gold hits over 25 years. To MCA, Ad-rock, and Mike D, your music and lives are an inspiration to me. Rest in Peace my friend!

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