Jewish Journal

Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch, Jewish legend and hip-hop pioneer, has died

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 4, 2012 | 11:41 am

The Beastie Boys, Mike Diamond (left), Adam Horowitz and Adam Yauch (right), are photographed at the 2006 Sundance film festival in Park City, Utah in this Jan. 22, 2006. Photo by REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/Files

I had tickets to see the Beastie Boys at the Hollywood Bowl when Adam Yauch (aka MCA) was diagnosed with cancer back in 2009. I always assumed that Yauch, one of the three members of one of the most influential hip hop groups in history, would make a full recovery and I’d have another chance to see the Beastie Boys perform.

Sadly, I was wrong.

Adam Yauch, one-third of the pioneering hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, has died at the age of 47, Rolling Stone has learned. Yauch, also known as MCA, had been in treatment for cancer since 2009. The rapper was diagnosed in 2009 after discovering a tumor in his salivary gland.

Last year, the Beastie Boys released what (I assume) will be their final albums with all three original members. “The Hot Sauce Committee Part 2” had been delayed by Yauch’s treatment. It still rocked.

I’ve blogged a bit about the Beastie Boys here before. They were, after all not only hip hop pioneers (for, among other reasons, their innovative use of sampling) but Jewish heroes, hailing from that famously Jewish city, New York.

Yauch and Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz weren’t Matisyahu, but they embraced their yiddishkeit. And this 2003 cover of Heeb remains my favorite.

Their legendary “Sabotage” music video is after the jump:

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