Russell Simmons has offered a prayer in the memory of Beastie Boys’ member, MCA (born Adam Yauch), who died Friday (May 4) after a three-year bout with cancer. Yauch was 47-years-old.
“This experience is tough for all of us to accept, but we know that we have only lost Adam in the physical world,” Simmons posted on GlobalGrind.com. “His gifts will live forever. Adam is not dead because we’re not. The eyes behind the eyes will always exist…your soul will always live. Even though our bodies rejuvenate every single cell every seven years, our consciousness will exist for eternity. There is one living, breathing journey of consciousness and we are all connected. God is the everlasting ocean of consciousness and we are just cups of this ocean. RIP MCA.”
The heartfelt prayer was accompanied with a vintage shot of Russell alongside Run-DMC and the Beastie Boys on a building’s rooftop.
Upon learning the news of Yauch’s death earlier in the day, Simmons, who founded the pioneering Def Jam label, offered this comment on GlobalGrind as well.
“Adam was incredibly sweet and the most sensitive artist, who I loved dearly. I was always inspired by his work. He will be missed by all of us.”
His brother, Reverend Run, shared the sorrow.
“R I P Adam… I’m devastated,” Rev. Run tweeted upon hearing the breaking news. “Praying for Adam Yauch’s family from the legendary Beastie Boys. Youll be missed!”
He later told MTV:
“Adam Yauch has this special type of rasp in his voice that made him incredible to me, so he stood out as a real vintage type of incredible MC. It was intriguing to see white guys rapping like that, being so cool, plus sticking to their roots, so they were true to themselves My tribute to them is just to tell them that I love them and what they did for hip-hop culture is legendary.”
“The Beastie Boys are one of the greatest groups, and I’m not just talking hip-hop — the Beastie Boys are one of the greatest groups in history.”
But the condolences and support reached further than just the hip-hop world. A rep for the Dalai Lama, who MCA was a big supporter of, sent this statement to TMZ:
“Adam had helped us raise awareness on the plight of the Tibetan people by organizing various freedom Tibet concerts and he will be remembered by his holiness and the Tibetan people.”
MCA had a long bout with cancer, being treated for a cancerous parotid gland and lymph node in 2009 and even converting to a vegan at the recommendations of his Tibetan doctors shortly after diagnosis. Yauch had even been blessed by the Dalai Lama several times, the last being July 2011. It’s unclear as of press time, though, if his death was indeed related to his battle with cancer.
A host of rappers took to their Twitter accounts upon hearing the news of Yauch’s passing to express condolences.
“Rest in peace MCA of the Beastie Boys,” Big Daddy Kane tweeted. “A pioneer & OG that will be missed.”
Added Biz Markie: “A very special R.I.P. to Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys my brother you are gonna be truly missed my heart is heavy……”
Yauch co-founded Beastie Boys in 1979 with members Mike D, Mix Master Mike and Ad Roc. The group has won multiple Grammys. His death comes days before Beastie Boys is inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, in a ceremony that will be broadcast on HBO on Saturday, May 5th, at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The Beastie Boys are just the third rap group to enter the Hall, after Run-D.M.C. (2009) and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (2007).
Yauch is survived by his wife and daughter.—Mark Lelinwalla with reporting by Mariel Concepcion