Adam Yauch, R.I.P.
Adam Yauch, better known as MCA and one of the founding Beastie Boys, died today after being diagnosed with cancer in 2009. He was 47.
Yauch started the Beastie Boys with Mike "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horowitz in 1979 in New York City. After beginning their career as a hardcore act, they shifted into hip-hop; their 1986 Def Jam release License to Ill launched them into the stratosphere. Known for loud and raucous behavior, the group released countless acclaimed records, all a wide range in style. Paul's Boutique, their sophomore record, was initially looked at as a failure due to its experimental sampling and lyrics, but in hindsight, is recognized as a breakthrough record not only for the trio, but for hip-hop. Check Your Head brought them back to their chaotic, punky roots, but blending enough rap to be considered a genre on its own.
Even their most recent effort, 2011's Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2 was a favorite of many critics. The band, with Yauch at its center, continually explored new territory in what hip-hop could and should be.