Beastie Boy Adam Yauch Passes Away

Rolling Stone is reporting the death of Beastie Boys founding member, Adam Yauch (aka MCA), from cancer. He was 47 years old. In addition to his music, Yauch was also one of the first celebrities to draw attention to the Free Tibet campaign.

Yauch, also known as MCA, had been in treatment for cancer since 2009. The rapper was diagnosed in 2009 after discovering a tumor in his salivary gland.

Yauch co-founded the Beastie Boys with Mike “Mike D” Diamond and Adam “Ad-Rock” Horowitz in 1979. The band started off as a hardcore punk group, but soon began experimenting with hip-hop. The band broke big with their first proper album, Licensed to Ill, in 1986, and further albums Paul’s Boutique, Check Your Head and Ill Communication cemented the band as a true superstar act.

The Beastie Boys are one of the foundations of the soundtrack of my youth, and I’m sure many Good Men Project readers feel the same. I still hear Check Your Head in my mind when I’m riding my skateboard, and I remember how all of us – guys and girls – wore the same giant, saggy pants and oversized hoodies in the early 90s, just like The Beastie Boys.

GMP’s Editor-in-Chief Noah Brand has many of the same memories of the Beastie Boys:

I turn 35 next week. When I was ten, I knew all the words to “Paul Revere” off of Licensed to Ill because I was a foulmouthed little bastard, but also because even at ten, I could tell the Beastie Boys fucking ROCKED. Every few years, I’d momentarily delude myself that I’d outgrown them, and then they’d come out with another album and I’d have to redefine my idea of cool because they’d just raised the bar again. Precious few groups can remain that relevant, that vital, for that long.

What’s your favorite Beastie Boys song?

What do you think is their best record?

How will you best remember Adam Yauch?

Our thoughts and prayers go out to Adam’s family.



(Lead: AP Photo)

About Joanna Schroeder

Joanna Schroeder is a feminist writer and editor with a special focus in issues facing raising boys and gender in the media. Her work has appeared on Redbook, Yahoo!, xoJane,,, and more. She and her husband are outdoor sports enthusiasts raising very active sons. She is currently co-editing a book of essays for boys and young men with author and advocate Jeff Perera. Follow her shenanigans on Twitter.


  1. “It is amazing how we all can make such a profound impact on others, sometimes with just a few words. Adam Yauch, with one rhyme, showed me what it was to go from a boy to a man. Adam, thank you for showing us.”

    Here is my tribute to MCA aka Adam Yauch. Please do read, thank you Adam…

  2. growler says:

    There’s other Beastie Boys songs I like better, but those are too fierce. This one has a mellower, darker sound, and it opens with MCA. So, it seems fitting for today. RIP.

    Proof he was a good man = this now-heartbreaking picture of him with his daughter.

  3. Neil Jung says:

    de-lurking after about a year reading the GMP to comment for the first time.

    I’m 42, and to me, Adam Yauch is the very model of a “good man.” A lot of this relates to the “growing up” that Lance mentioned.

    I think of the transitions he made in the space of less than ten years, from his early 20’s to his late 20’s: from “Fight For Your Right to Party” to organizing the Tibetan Freedom Concert (which I was lucky to attend). From the juvenile misogyny of License to Ill to calling out the increasingly more violent strain in hip-hop with “I wanna say a little something that’s long overdue / The disrespect to women has got to be through.”

    And yet, he never lost the impish humor of his younger years. That’s something I want to emulate. I actually thought of him often over the last year, because from the window of the meditation center in Santa Monica that I go to, there is a clear view of a skateboard park across the street. I think he’d have loved that.

  4. I’m 41. Licensed To Ill came out when I was 16. Paul’s Boutique came when I was in college, about to tuen 19.

    Picking a favorite song is impossible. It’s like picking your favorite child. But Paul’s Boutqiue is their rap opera, their hip hop masterpiece. I’m listening to it now.

    I’ll remember Adam Yuahc as a rockstar who actually grew up. If you look at Steven Tyler on tv or many other musicians, they all look like older, lamer versions of themselves from their glory days. But Adam studied eaastern cultures and religions. He created a film company that many artistic movies. Her went gray. He looked older, gracefully. He was admirable because he wasn’t afraid to grow up and be a man.

    He will be so missed. He was a true artist.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      I really agree with the aging thing. 47 is so young, but it’s still an age you earn. He still looked like him, he didn’t put on a Polo shirt and Dockers, but he was a grown man who showed the best side of being a dude in his 40s.


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