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 Nickerson
Fuck REM. Long Live MCA...