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For the Beastie Boys' new concert film, Awesome, they gave cameras to fans in the crowd.
Adam "MCA" Yauch, one of the founding members of the Beastie Boys
, died Friday after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 47.
his raspy voice, Yauch started making music with Michael Diamond (Mike
D) and Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) when they were all teenagers in New York
City in the early 1980s. The Beastie Boys started out as a punk band,
but in 1987, the group released Licensed to Ill, the first hop-hop album to reach No. 1 on the pop charts.
the next 25 years, MCA, Mike D and Ad-Rock continued to win over fans
and critics for their inventive, layered sampling and clever, playful
lyrics, which occasionally referenced their earlier tracks. A line from
Yauch's "Sure Shot" from Ill Communication, for example,
addressed concerns about the group's misogynistic lyrics from its early
days: "I want to say something that's long overdue / The disrespect to
women has got to be through / To all the mothers and sisters and the
wives and friends / I want to offer my love and respect to the end."
the years, Yauch diversified his career interests. Under the pseudonym
Nathanial Hornblower, he directed a number of Beastie Boys videos,
including "Whatcha Want," "Intergalactic" and "Make Some Noise," which
was released in 2011. He also directed two feature films, the 2006
Beastie Boys concert movie Awesome; I ... Shot That and Gunning for That #1 Spot,
a film about high-school basketball players. His strong interest in
film later inspired Yauch to create the independent film distribution
and production company Oscilloscope, which has released films such as The Messenger, Wendy and Lucy and Exit Through the Gift Shop.
In 2006, Yauch joined his bandmates on Fresh Air for an in-depth conversation with Terry Gross about The Beastie Boys and their music.