RIP MCA: Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch Dies of Cancer

Adam Yauch, a founding member of the historic rap trio the Beastie Boys, died on Friday at the age of 47.

The news of Yauch’s death was announced on the website globalgrind.com, run by rap mogul Russell Simmons. The site announced that they had, “confirmed this very sad news.” Yauch had been battling cancer since 2009.

He first announced his diagnosis in a 2009 online video with fellow Beastie Boys members: 


A native of Brooklyn, Yauch founded the Beastie Boys in the 1980s with two friends, Adam Horowitz (Ad-Roc) and Michael Diamond (Mike D). Yauch went by the stage name MCA.

The band’s breakout album came in 1986 with, “License to Ill,” featuring the hit single “Fight for Your Right (To Party).”

A native Brooklynite myself, I know Yauch’s death will be felt across the borough and the world. My Facebook newsfeed is already a sea of “RIPMCA” status tributes. 

Yauch changed music and he changed Brooklyn. He will be missed. RIPMCA. 

No sleep 'till Brooklyn.  


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Elena Sheppard

Elena is the Arts & Entertainment Editor at Mic. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, Time Out New York, The New York Times Upfront, ABC News, and various travel publications. She is also a Princeton alum, a former Thailand resident, and a Brooklyn native.

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