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.