Truly terrible news this afternoon, as it appears that Adam Yauch, better known as MCA from the Beastie Boys, has passed away at the age of 47, presumably from his ongoing battle with cancer. The reports are not fully confirmed, but I can’t really imagine how else a rumor like this would start. Check back to this post later for an update on the situation and, if it is in fact true, some thoughts about this music legend. Today just got very, very sad.
UPDATE: It appears that the earlier reports are true, and that Adam Yauch has indeed passed away. I’m sort of still a little bit in shock about the whole thing, so apologies if this post isn’t up to the eloquence that MCA most certainly deserves. This is one of those situations where, at least in the early stages, the more time passes the more painful it becomes. Such is the breadth and quality of MCA’s lifes work. Whether it be the untouchable catalogue he put together with the Beastie Boys (one of the best of all time), his directing work as Nathaniel Hornblower, or his huge contribution to the independent film world through Oscilloscope Pictures. All the work he did that made people happy.
More than anything it hurts because it really and truly feels like it wasn’t supposed to happen. I’ve been talking with some friends who agree with me that, when MCA was originally diagnosed with cancer in 2009, the palpable sense of dread that accompanies something like that was conspicuously missing. It just didn’t seem possibly that the raspy voiced genius with the quiet, considering eyes could really go so young. It was inconceivable. Yet here we are, because life is a real shithead sometimes.
It’s easy to become very self centered when something like this happens. The Beastie Boys were such a huge, incredible thing (a true national treasure), a sound and attitude so captivating that almost everyone I know has gone through a period of deep obsession with them. And so with the death of MCA, so comes a little death of your own, as a very distinct and powerful set of memories are suddenly cast in shadow. These songs are accompanied by a certain sadness now. It’s selfish, sure, but that’s okay. Because grieving is weird and difficult. Especially for the people you love the most but never really knew.
I’m listening to Paul’s Boutique right now, and it sounds like the best rap album of all time. R.I.P. MCA.- Whole Milk