EAST VILLAGE — Beastie Boys co-founder Adam “MCA” Yauch was honored in the State Senate for his groundbreaking work in the music industry after losing his battle against cancer.
Yauch, a Brooklyn native who became a renowned musician, rapper, activists and director, died on Friday May 4th at the age of 47 after a nearly three-year-battle with cancer. State Senator Daniel Squadron, whose district includes the Lower East Side and the East Village, where the Beastie Boys rose to prominence through the local music scenes, honored Yauch's contribution to music.
"The Beastie Boys exemplified New York through a period in which grassroots creativity and a community of iconoclastic artists helped redefine and rejuvenate a city on the ropes, with iconic imagery from Brooklyn to Ludlow Street," said Squadron, before state parliament.
Squadron praised Yauch and the Beastie Boys for pushing hip-hop mainstream, with their album "Licensed to Ill," becoming the first in that music genre to top the Billboard Charts.
The Beastie Boys formed in 1979 with Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz. The group has sold more than 40 million albums worldwide and was recently inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Yauch was also a filmmaker who started Oscilloscope Laboratories and a philanthropist who founded the Milarepa Fund, which supported activists in Tibet and organized the post-9/11 benefit New Yorkers Against Violence.
"The music and message of the Beastie Boys evolved over the years, but they can't, won't, don't stop changing the face of hip-hop, of music, and of our culture," said Squadron.
Yauch was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 after doctors found a tumor in his salivary gland, according to reports.
Yauch had cut back his public appearances recently, and his illness prevented the Beastie Boys from performing and filming music videos for their latest album, "Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2," Rolling Stone reported.
The resolution was adopted by parliament and a copy will be submitted to the Yauch's family.