LOS ANGELES — The Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch, best known the world over as the thoughtful, witty, in-your-face rapper MCA, has died.
A Beastie Boys representative confirmed yesterday that Yauch "passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer."
Yauch, who had been battling cancer for the last three years, was part of a trio of New York rappers whose music starting in the 1980s transformed the budding genre and helped take hip-hop nationwide.
Yauch, who was 47, achieved fame with the Beastie Boys, but as their fame grew he directed his energy toward his lifelong passion: Buddhism and Tibetan independence. While he and his fellow Beastie Boys Mike Diamond (Mike D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) continued to transform rap music through classics like "Paul's Boutique," "Check Your Head" and "Ill Communication," Yauch helped tether the group with his rhymes about peace, enlightenment and other topics far removed from the party-rap of the Beastie Boys' early music.
Last month the Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, where members Ad-Rock and Mike D accepted the award; MCA was unable to make it.
— Los Angeles Times