NEW YORK - FILE: Filmmaker and recording artist Adam Yauch speaks onstage at the Apple Soho store on May 2, 2008 in New York City. Rapper Adam Yauch, AKA MCA, of the Beastie Boys has died May 4, 2012 after battling cancer. He was 47. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

As we mark the anniversary of the passing of Adam “MCA” Yauch, let’s reflect on his Beastie Boys lyrics that will never die.


We lost Yauch on May 4, 2012 at the age of 47. Just typing that out and reading it back feels so wrong. MCA should not have died so young. MCA should still be with us, entertaining us, enlightening us. I was hosting afternoons at the late alterative station WFNX when the news broke that MCA had died. WFNX Program Director Paul Driscoll joined me on the air and gave me free reign to play wall-to-wall Beastie Boys and take calls. Fellow FNX DJ, local rapper and rocker D-Tension joined us to reflect and reminisce.


The sadness was twofold, as it wasn’t just the death of Adam Yauch. It was losing Beastie Boys. Because we all knew that was it. Even though the group had started with a few lineup changes and shifts in musical focus, the core that emerged was MCA, Ad-Rock, and Mike D. Those three. Take one away, and you no longer have Beastie Boys. And the decade-plus since MCA left us has borne that out: Ad-Rock and Mike D are still around, doing their thing, popping up together on occasion. But not as Beastie Boys. That chapter has drawn to a close.


Five Essential Beastie Boys Lyrics That Capture the Legacy of MCA

I was always aware of Beastie Boys because I grew up on MTV and their ’80s music videos were a staple. But it wasn’t until 1992’s Check Your Head that they became one of my favorite groups. Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate not just MCA’s lyrical style, but the wisdom and growth he demonstrated as he evolved as an artist. I hope these lyrics of his I’ve hand-picked do a good job of capturing that.

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