‘It’s given some meaning to me to be famous … if I can use that attention to help other people,’ late Beastie Boy tells MTV News.
By Kara Warner
The news of Adam Yauch’s untimely death on Friday continues to reverberate throughout the world and especially the music industry. From the multitude of reactions and expressions of sympathy from celebrities to the emotionally charged words from fans, Yauch’s death has many in mourning.
MTV News took to the airwaves to express our appreciation for the influential artist with the one-hour special “Adam Yauch: Remembering a Beastie Boy,” during which we reflected on the legendary MC’s career and the indelible mark he made on music as a whole, as well as on society.
One of the more poignant aspects of the 60-minute tribute was a look back at Yauch’s involvement in founding the Tibetan Freedom Concert, the first of which drew influential acts like the Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine and raised $800,000 to help support Tibetan social-justice causes.
MTV News once spoke to Yauch about why he chose to get involved in promoting awareness for social issues.
“Whatever involvement I’m able to put in it, it definitely makes me feel good to be able to help with that,” Yauch said about the Tibetan Freedom Concert. “It’s really everyone working together. It’s all the artists who put in their time and all the people who come down to the show that actually care about it, people involved in putting it on.
“One thing Buddhism teaches is the only thing that brings us lasting happiness, that really makes us happy, is when we do things to benefit other people,” he explained. “Trying to make money, buy cool sneakers, those things don’t lead to any lasting happiness.”
Yauch said what made him happiest was being able to use his fame in a positive way.
“When you do things to benefit people from a pure place in your heart, that’s a feeling that lasts no matter what happens,” he said. “It’s given some meaning to me to be famous and be able to make music if I can use that attention to help other people — that gives some meaning to that.”
Share your memories of Adam on Twitter using the hashtag #RIPMCA.
Coldplay, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the New York Mets also pay homage to the fallen music icon.
By Rob Markman
To his fans Adam “MCA” Yauch was a musical genus, who along with Mike D. and Ad-Rock of the Beastie Boys, progressively changed the landscape of popular music, seamlessly mixing hip-hop, punk and Rock and Roll. To those that were lucky enough to call him friend, he was all of that, plus more.
“The Beastie Boys were one of a kind! And so was Adam! They were all an important part of my musical history. And integral to the musical revolution that was happening at the time,” mega-star Madonna said in statement obtained by MTV News after Yauch passed away on Friday (May 4) after a long battle with cancer. “I’m very sad to hear about Adam’s passing. G*D bless him and his family.”
Madge included the Beasties as an opening act on her 1985 The Virgin Tour. Madonna had already established herself as a formidable pop act with her first two LPs and the Beasties were just getting started. Their iconic debut album License To Ill wouldn’t come until a year later.
Mix Master Mike didn’t start out a Beastie, but his legacy before his work with the Boys is well documented. A world champion turntabilist, Mike got the call to work with the Beastie Boys on their 1998 Grammy Award winning album Hello Nasty and has been rocking with the trio ever since. He too was hit particularly hard after Yauch’s death.
“The music world has lost an Icon and i lost a brother. I give thanks to Adam Yauch for allowing me to be apart of the Beastie legacy. I am so honored to have graced the stage with my idols for 15 historic years,” he said in a statement issued to MTV News. “Thank U for your friendship and thank you for picking me to be your DJ. forever I will hold you close to my heart. My Condolences go out to the Yauch family.”
There were a number of tributes on Friday night. During Coldplay’s concert at Hollywood Bowl last night, Chris Martin and company performed a slowed down, piano-laden rendition of of the Beastie Boys’ anthemic “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party).”
The Red Hot Chili Peppers also paid their respects during their show at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on Friday. “We’re playing this show tonight for Adam Yauch,” RHCP frontman Anthony Kiedis said to the crowd as reported by Rolling Stone.
Yauch didn’t just inspire musicians, last night during their home baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks the entire New York Mets team paid tribute to the fallen Brooklynite by playing the Beastie’s music as they each walked up to the plate.
How do you plan to honor Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch’? Tell us in the comments!
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