founding member Adam Yauch, who was also the founder of the independent film distribution company Oscilloscope Pictures, passed away today at the age of 47.
Adam Yaunch was a renowned American rapper, songwriter and film director. He was widely known by his stage name, MCA, and sometimes worked under the pseudonym Nathanial Hörnblowér. He was a creative genius and conceptualized Oscilloscope Laboratories, a recording studio in NYC. He also built an independent film distribution company by the name of Oscilloscope Pictures.
He ensured that his recording company performed well in the market and because of his dedication and hard work, Oscilloscope Labs acquired or released such works as Lynne Ramsey's "We Need to Talk about Kevin", Kelly Reichardt's "Meek's Cutoff", Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace's "Shut Up and Play the Hits", and Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights".
Yauch's death is a great loss for the Beastie Boys. The group posted a note for the deceased on their website. The full note can be read on Indie Wire. Here is an excerpt:
“ADAM YAUCH 1964-2012
It is with great sadness that we confirm that musician, rapper, activist and director Adam "MCA" Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys and also of the Milarepa Foundation that produced the Tibetan Freedom Concert benefits, and film production and distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories, passed away in his native New York City this morning after a near-three-year battle with cancer. He was 47 years old.
With fellow members Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Adrock" Horovitz, Beastie Boys would go on to sell over 40 million records, release four #1 albums--including the first hip hop album ever to top the Billboard 200, the band's 1986 debut full length, Licensed To Ill--win three Grammys, and the MTV Video Vanguard Lifetime Achievement award. Last month Beastie Boys were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, with Diamond and Horovitz reading an acceptance speech on behalf of Yauch, who was unable to attend.”
Yauch was diagnosed and treated for a cancerous parotid gland and a lymph node and underwent surgery and radiation therapy back in 2009. He had been suffering the aftermath of this disease since he was operated. This left a lot of repercussions on his career and he became a vegan under the recommendation of his Tibetan doctors.