A titan of rap music and a member of one of the most influential bands of the last 30 years, Beastie Boy MCA, Adam Yauch, has died from cancer at age 47. It's a sad day for music fans my age, who heard their older brothers and sisters bump Licensed to Ill in '86 and got the full flavor of the Beasties' blend of musical fusion, with funk, hip hop, punk, and rock, on the massive Ill Communication album, released in 1994.
In addition to music, I remember Yauch for his dedication to worthy causes. Specifically, his organization of and participation in the Free Tibet movement and concert in the late 1990s.
Personally, the first arena rock show that I went to was the Ill Communication tour in 1995, when my friends and I crashed the floor to the Beasties belting out No Sleep til Brooklyn. To this day, I can still recite every single lyric to Get It Together. That show and that album were a huge part of my musical education, and are part of a time and memories that I'll keep with me forever.
My thoughts are with the Yauch and greater Beastie Boys families, what a huge loss for everyone.