The Ill Communication

May 4, 2017 | 22:45 | Written by: snake911

Hard to believe it's already been five years since we lost the great Adam Yauch, MCA of the Beastie Boys, to cancer.

Being my favorite hip hop group of all, the Beastie Boys were able to weave in and out of many genres of music, but keeping that hip hop vibe all along the way.  It's interesting to note that they are probably the only rap group to be played on rock stations on a regular basis, which shows just how well respected they are.  Now I love the group as a whole, but if you were to tell me which one of the group I gravitated to towards the most, I'd have to say MCA would be the one.

Why?  I dunno.  All three spit out great lyrics, but of the three, MCA had the most distinct voice due to his being the deepest and somewhat raspy, so it's easier to pick his voice out from the trio.  That, and when he does radio interviews, I like his personality.  His calm, laid back, and funny attitude combined with his slower than average speech gives a comforting appeal about him.

But it's not only him being a musical artist that impressed me, it's how he expanded into media in general, going into video production by founding Oscilloscope Laboratories, a film company helping bring indie films to a larger audience.  In addition, he directed a number of music videos under the hilarious pseudonym of "Nathanial Hörnblowér," and directed a movie called Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That! which involved handing out a number of camcorders to fans at a Beastie Boys concert to film their experience at the event.  And also Gunnin' for That No. 1 Spot which showcases high schoolers with the potential for joining the NBA.  Pretty cool stuff.

Then there's his personal life, displaying a strong contrast to his early years from Licensed to Ill by showing how much he'd grown up by helping out with global affairs.  Acting as a human rights activist, he fought for Tibetan's freedom and respect for women.  Following the Buddhist religion mellowed him out, and got married and had a child.  Overall he was a well-balanced individual where he seemed like he had his priorities straight.

For a more somber sounding track, here's one from Check Your Head called "Something's Got To Give."  Included is a music video and lyrics that call out for peace and understanding.  This is echoed from the 1998 MTV Music Video Awards when he got on the podium and used his time on the mic to explain how the US should use alternative, non-aggressive responses to issues in other parts of the globe.

So while others are celebrating Star Wars with the "May the fourth be with you" tagline, I'm going to be quietly celebrating Adam Yauch over here by listening to a few Beastie Boy albums.  And as a cool tribute, someone on YouTube made a neat-o video splicing together the first line MCA speaks from every Beastie Boys song from every album!  You gotta check this one out.

RIP Yauch

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