I don’t usually get too upset when celebrities pass away. But hearing just now that Adam Yauch, aka, MCA has died at 47, of salivary cancer hurts in a way that I wouldn’t have imagined. Like, my whole body went cold. Since I was 13 or so, the Beastie Boys have been one of my favorite bands. But more than always liking their music, their public personas set an example for me. Respectively, the Beastie Boys taught me to not take yourself to seriously (like every music video they ever did), to work hard (the perfectionism in their albums), to dig below the surface to find culture that speaks to you (their old label, Grand Royal magazine, the samples they used, etc…), to work towards causes that you believe in (Tibetan freedom, et. al), to appreciate the culture that formed you (the way they promoted hip hop for the last 25 years) and to not be afraid to grow (the transitions they made in their music helped me grow up).
Rest in peace, MCA.