Adam Yauch, one of the three members of pioneering hip-hop band the Beastie Boys, has died, according to Rolling Stone. Yauch was diagnosed with cancer of salivary gland in 2009, and the band's excellent return to form on the album Hot Sauce Committee, Part Two, which was released last year, was delayed due to his illness.
Yauch, who rapped under the name MCA alongside his band mates Mike Diamond (Mike D.) and Adam Horowitz (Ad-Rock), also directed many of the band's videos under the name Nathaniel Hornblower, as wells as the band's 2006 concert film Awesome: I F---in' Shot That and the 2008 high school basketball documentary Gunnin' For That Number One Spot. He was also deeply involved in organizing the series of Tibetan Freedom Concert and as avowed Buddhist.
The Beastie Boys are perhaps still most strongly identified with their 9 million selling 1986 album License To Ill and its hit "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)," but they are revered in the hip-hop community for the deeper contribitions stretching over a decades long career, highlighted by their sample-heavy 1989 masterwork Paul's Boutique.
That album's "Hey Ladies" is below. Yauch is pictured on the right. A full length obituary is here.