MCA (born Adam Yauch with a beard like a billy goat) from the Beastie Boys passed away after losing a bout with cancer.
I was in high school when I picked up a copy of my first-ever Beastie Boys album Licensed to Ill. Yes, I'm not ashamed to admit that it was a cassette and included a fold out version of the "album cover" of a plane crushing its nose into a cliff. That cassette was worn out within weeks and Licensed to Ill quickly became valuable tool of my youth. I was a precocious and mischievous teenager, but open to whatever the Beastie Boys taught me -- ranging from a variety of compelling subjects including Paul Revere to girls to whiffle ball bats to something called a funky brass monkey.
Before I left the Bronx and migrated southbound to Atlanta for college, I acquired the CD version of Licensed to Ill, which I played ad nauseum, much to the delight of my dope smoking, beer chugging friends and much to the dismay of my redneck neighbors whom I tortured the next four years by blasting Paul's Boutique at 3am. Yes, at one point in my life, I was that fucking guy. As luck would have it, the CD cover for Paul's Boutique spent an entire semester on my coffee table as a multipurpose tool to remove seeds and de-stem bricks of Mexican ditch weed.
MCA was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and passed away after a three-year long battle. He influenced countless numbers of fans and fellow artists through the genre-blending music (funk + punk + rap) he created with his cohorts in the Beastie Boys.
MCA will be missed, but not forgotten. RIP MCA. Blunts and 40oz. will be passed around tonight in your honor.
UPDATE (4:20pm ET)...
Check out a few classic entries about the Beasties that a few writer friends of mine penned a couple of years ago:
And on the cool check in... by Shane NickersonAlso, my buddy Schecky recommended this video because it includes the epic prank that MCA pulled during the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards (see the prank starting at 2:29). Best part? A pissed off, spotlight whore Michael Stipe who was upstaged by the slick MCA!
Langerado 2008: Strawberry Shortcake's key changes by Otis
Fuck REM. Long Live MCA...