On this day, May 4, in hip-hop history…


2012: It’s no secret that the Beastie Boys’ career has written the playbook for aspiring artists. The hardcore band started in 1981, and would later enter the hip-hop arena with some of the most pivotal and groundbreaking music of all time. Their early partnership with DJ Rick Rubin was instrumental to the beginning of a successful career. Most bands can say they have one magnum opus, but they had many. (See: License to Ill, Paul’s Boutique and Ill Communication.)

Adam Yauch, a.k.a. MCA, was a man of many talents. The Brooklyn native put on his director’s hat for most of the Beastie Boys’ music videos under the alias Nathanial Hörnblowér. He was a known human rights activist and indulged in playing a few games of basketball every now and then. On top of everything else, he established himself as a film director who founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, where he was behind many memorable documentaries.

As time went on, Yauch evolved into a person who became socially conscious and ahead of the curve as a talented artist. It says a lot when twenty years after Yauch and the gang formed Beastie Boys, they sold 40 million records worldwide. Couple that with their induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2012, and their contributions to music will always be respected by fans.

Though Yauch battled with cancer for several years, he still lives on through his music made with Ad-Rock and Mike D. Sit back and listen to your favorites in honor of MCA.