Remembering Adam 'MCA' Yauch: The Beastie Boys' greatest hits
May 4th, 2012
02:20 PM ET

Remembering Adam 'MCA' Yauch: The Beastie Boys' greatest hits

Upon hearing that founding Beastie Boys member Adam "MCA" Yauch died at the age of 47 Friday, we couldn’t help but cue up some of the group’s old tunes.

And with a quarter of a century worth of music to sift through, why not start at the beginning?

"Fight for Your Right" was the fourth single on the group’s 1986 debut album, “Licensed to Ill.” One of the Beastie Boys' best-known songs, it reached No. 7 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in March 1987.


In 1994, they released “Ill Communication” and the hit single “Sabotage.”

One year later, the single earned the Beastie Boys a Grammy nomination for best hard rock performance. And in 2011, Paste magazine listed “Sabotage” as the group’s best song of all time: “Even after they became all 'mature' or whatever, the Beastie Boys have always been about getting the crowd amped. And nothing in their repertoire gets fist[s] pumping and heads banging like this raw, fuzzed-out slab of aggro-funk.”


The group won their first Grammy Awards in 1999. They took home awards for best rap performance by a duo or group for their single “Intergalactic,” and best alternative performance for “Hello Nasty,” their fifth studio album.


Share your favorite tracks and memories of MCA and the Beastie Boys in the comments below.

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  1. Ann

    Until I was in High school, I also had a very limited amount of knowledge about secular music! But all I can say is this! The Beastie Boys, although I didn't hear of them until late in their career, ( I first heard Fight for Your Right to Party in grade school, on the radio, and although I really loved it, I wasnt as passionate about thier music as I was when I heard that MCA died.) Every day I regret not listenting to thier albums sooner, not going to any concerts, or reading more about MCA, ADROCK, and MIKE D before the passing of MCA. Regardless of when I first hward thier music, I must say that the BEASTIE BOYS, is my all time favorite band! I'm upset that I couldnt enjoy the band while they were stil at large, and every article, and video i see and read about MCA makes me more aware of what an exceptional human being he was and a great role model, not just to other artists but to everyone on this planet, it really depresses me that he died at such a young age. I constantly, no joke play his music, all the time, and I wish I couldve been as passsionate about them back then as I am now.Most of the music today that i hear in the radio, or see online, is NOTHING AT ALL like the jaw dropping, awe inspiring, one of a kind original, the best music ever recorded,awesome quality of the Beastie Boys. I hope that MCAs leagay, and everything that he accomplished and achieved in his lifetime will be remembered forever and always. Those three MCS really knew how to write songs, rap, and express their feelings. Im so happy that such a band exists, with its wide array of lyrics, meanings and such.
    Before I give any readers the impression that Im trying to kiss butt by writing about what a great person MCA was and what a great band the Beastie Boys were, let me tell you that although I never met any of the Beastie Boys, nor have I ever been to any of their concerts, when I heard about the passing of Adam Yauch, MCA, I got seriously upset. Like " Whats going on in this world? Where so many good people die young? WHat is happening?" I kid you not, I found the news very sad and upsetting! We will remember you always MCA!WE WILL NEVER FORGET YOU ADAM YAUCH, MCA, KING OF THE AVE!!!!REST IN PEACE!!!!!

    July 15, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
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    July 15, 2012 at 12:30 am | Report abuse |
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    June 30, 2012 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. t

    Even though it is incredibly childish and immature to write hurtful comments on an article remembering someone who has died remember that everybody has their own opinion and should be able to speak no matter how mean or hurtful it may be.

    May 9, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Shelly

    You people who have CHOSEN to post hateful comments are what is wrong with this world and you will get yours. Eventually. ...........Stay tuned haters.

    May 9, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kristen

    Only true losers go on remembrance boards and talk crap about someone. Pathetic little trolls sitting at their keyboards trying to figure out how long they have until Mommy comes home and kicks them off the computer. Sad really...

    May 7, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      That's Funny!

      May 7, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • jennyjen


      May 8, 2012 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
  7. A Rochon

    rest in peace

    May 7, 2012 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Michael Mario Calaizzo

    I thought he was the real talent in the group.

    May 7, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  9. Michael Mario Calaizzo

    We will miss him.

    May 7, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
  10. Margaret


    May 7, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  11. SoljaGurl


    May 7, 2012 at 8:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. Seemack

    The Beastie Boys were one of the first bands to popularize rap in the 80's and usher in an era of bad music that is still with us today. Their music was immature, infantile and idiotic. What a bunch of fools. I remember when Licensed to Ill was big and it was mostly popular with 13 year olds.

    May 7, 2012 at 1:45 am | Report abuse |
  13. Gary

    To the swine talking smack on here about a good man and his bandmates , I would love to fistfight every one of you. I know they are against violence but I am not. Have some respect TROLLS !

    May 6, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jas

    Man I wish some people would stop remembering only the Licensed to Ill album and especially fight for your right to party... They were not very proud of that part of their career. That was really Rick Rubin's brainchild. They jumped on it because it broke them into the business, but not too long afterwards, they left Rick Rubin and DefJam because they wanted to create music that they were really all about... when they finally started their own label, that's when their creativity started to truly flourish, playing their own instruments and jam packing their albums with sound on every inch (not to mention they weren't talking about beer and violence anymore). They matured and they carved out their own niche in the industry, surviving with positive and creative stuff over the years while blatantly misogynistic and violent party music ruled (and still does for the most part), with droves of artists that came and went in the blink of an eye. Rock and Roll Hall of fame? Well I don't claim to know all of their criteria for the hof, but you can't pigeon hole the Beasties into hip-hop either. If you TRULY know anything about them, they played a lot of different styles (you also can't say that about too many artists). Based on one instrumental album they did alone, I'd say the Rock and Roll Hall of fame is not way off the mark. Re: on an earlier comment, I also agree RUSH s/b in the hof. Didn't know they weren't to be honest, but it's not fair to say the Beasties don't deserve it at all. They crossed over into many styles. With all due respect, If you haven't listened to anything but Licensed to Ill, than your comments about the Beasties are really closed minded and I don't know why you are in on this discussion...

    May 6, 2012 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mark

    Wait! The Beasties had hits? All I ever heard from them was popular crap. Oh yeah, popular. Oh well, I guess they made their money and fame so kudos. That being said, their music is one of the reasons I got an Ipod, so I dont have to hear crap on the radio anymore.

    May 5, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  16. saftgek

    If you like beastie boys your gay!

    May 5, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • pft

      Buy a dictionary. And learn some grammar, waif.

      May 5, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cogito

      Not necessarily...however, if you don't know the difference between your & you're, you are (YOU'RE) stupid...and we all know you can't fix that.

      May 5, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • BW Robb

      @saftgek – Trolling around pages which intend to honor the memory of a much loved fellow human with the only intention of dropping insults is shameful behavior. Resorting to name calling isn't productive or respectful. Using the term 'gay' as a slanderous adjective is insulting. Seek out a quality mentor and life coach. You would benefit from some guidance. RIP MCA – the legendary rhyming, writing, producer-performance artist-mentor extraordinaire!

      May 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  17. annelee

    May 5, 2012 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  18. sağlık

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    May 5, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  19. Tina

    RIP McA you were one of the best. Only the good die young

    May 5, 2012 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
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    May 5, 2012 at 8:19 am | Report abuse |
  21. Life

    I will always luv The Beastie Boys. RIP MCA

    May 5, 2012 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  22. MrSmubio

    Soundtrack to my youth...middle school through college. Two of the times I was lucky enough to see them in convert are in my top concerts ever. Sad day.

    May 5, 2012 at 12:56 am | Report abuse |
  23. letsgomets2012

    I first heard of the Boys back in 1986 - a UHF station (some of you may remember UHF) was showing their (one and only) video: "She's On It."

    Age 47 is entirely too too young to be going home to meet your Maker. RIP MCA.

    May 5, 2012 at 12:27 am | Report abuse |
  24. franco

    sad for filipino funs.

    May 4, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  25. Chucker

    No, he wasn't a great musician, d-bag. That kind of comment exposes your trailer park level understanding of music. You got offended b/c I made a valid comment about the RRHF and you pouted. BB is not RnR. It's you that doesn't understand. Go back to your harmonica lessons now.

    May 4, 2012 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Horatio McGillicutty

      Not Rock n Roll. Give them the honor of being the first into the Rap Hall of Fame.

      May 4, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • rob

      I'm quite sure being a proficient keyboardist and bass player makes you a musician. They do make music right? Let's see you throw down the bass line of Sabotage.

      I get what your saying about that Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but this isn't the time nor the place. Regardless, my opinion would be that the Beasties deserve to be in both the RnR HoF and the Hip-Hop HoF. I'm quite sure most would agree.

      May 5, 2012 at 6:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Chucker is a sad, sad man, who treats his own opinion, despite it being delusional, as fact. Poor guy. No logic or musical taste.

      May 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  26. MLOPEZ

    I went to basic training in 86 ,Three bad brothers now is two RIP ,no pain in heaven.

    May 4, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Andres

    Mi mas sentido pésame para la familia Beastie Boys. MAC Yauch toda una legenda de la música.

    May 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
  28. MikeS

    'she acts like a nag, i don't know how it started, even when i'm'... oh the good ol' stuff – anyone remember She's On It? They even had a video for it (a little before License came out). and then there's so whatcha whatcha want? RIP MCA, the world got your message and loved you for it.

    May 4, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Mike G

    They were just so sick especially in the 90s I can't even imagine highschool without Check Your Head – I'm so bummed. RIP MCA definitely a huge inspiration and a personal hero of mine, a legend in my eyes.

    May 4, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Shecky Greene

    I first saw the bb in 1986. It was my senior year in high school and we went to l'mour or some other rock club in Brooklyn and I have been a fan ever since. Rip and best wishes to his family

    Baruch dayan ha'emet

    May 4, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
  31. miles

    "If you can hear what I'm feeling then it's a musical masterpiece..."

    I could brother, and always will. You were a masterpiece! Rest easy and God bless.

    May 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Chell

    Saw the Beasties in 86 at Madison Square Garden at the Def Jam Concert. Great Beats.

    May 4, 2012 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Henrik

    My thoughts to the family and the 2 remaining B-boys. MCA, you made some great music and you serve all respect.

    May 4, 2012 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  34. littlemiss

    A lost life is no time to critique a mans' art. Keep it classy folks. Be honorable above all. MCA was a talented, generous, responsible man. His kindess and art will be missed.

    May 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Greg

    Been listening to a lot of Beasties today. Sad to hear that MCA passed away. Admittedly Pauls Boutique sent me spinning for a loop. I recently found the "tape" in an old box and managed to find a working player, its one of the best albums they put out. MCA will be missed, these guys knew how to rock.

    May 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Antoinette Gonzales

      Paul's Boutique is the BEST!! I'm 50 years old and these kids now a days don't have a clue what good music is all about.

      May 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Saddened

    I can't count how many times I held up the cassette cover of Licensed To Ill to a mirror to read what the tail said. They are the definition of nostalgia for anyone in their late 30's – early 40's.

    My fondest memory was lalapalooza in '94...they absolutely stole the show. You'll be missed, MCA, and thank you for being a part of my life.

    May 4, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Old rocker

    Sorry, but the only thing of theirs I am familiar with is "Gotta Fight", and it turns my stomach whenever I hear it. I still cannot believe that crap got them into the Rock and Roll HOF, while Rush is still ignored...SMDH.

    May 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Planet Jackson

      Obviously more than that one song–by the way it's called "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)"–got them into the Hall of Fame. If you aren't familiar with their work then why are you trashing it? The Beasties are legendary and groundbreaking.

      R.I.P. MCA May you have a wonderful rebirth.

      planetjackson [dot] net

      May 5, 2012 at 5:10 am | Report abuse |
  38. DC

    Beasties changed my views of music twice. They introduced me to rap when I was young, when my parents took away my 45's of Brass Monkey and Fight For Your Right. And then they changed me against with Ill Communication, showing that rap can co-exist with rock and still make a tight record. Favorites are Brass Monkey, Get It Together, and Pass The Mic. So sad for his family's loss, as well to the music industry. RIP to the great artist Adam Yauch!

    May 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
  39. sweeter than a cherry pie with ready whip toppin'

    oh, my fave depends on day/mood.. Shadrach, pass the mic, So what'cha ya want? all way up there... swe

    May 4, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Jason

    I remember looking for Beastie Boys in the early 90s in the record store. They were in "Rock" while Lenny Kravitz was in "Rap". Boggles the mind.
    Beastie Boys never stopped working together for 30 years and they did not stagnate. They experimented and innovated and released new tracks.
    And, yeah, MCA himself changed dramatically with his conversion to Tibetan Buddhism. He truly believed in the tenets and lived his life as an example. He wasn't perfect, but he wasn't doing it for show.
    Ah.. the music we'll miss! Their last CD "Hot Sauce Committee Pt 2" was tight and their creativity shined throughout the entire thing.
    As for Chucker, really, dude? Coming into a funeral to talk about how the deceased doesn't deserve all this recognition? Yeah, there is a time and a place and this isn't it. You may want to go meditate on why you thought it was appropriate to come into a space directly created to honor a man and try to dirty it up with foolishness; figure out why you thought it was proper to take the focus off of the deceased and put it squarely on yourself.

    May 4, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Charles Stinger

    My favorite Beastie's song was Shadrach, but I loved them all. I always tell people that they are one of the most underrated musical artists ever, because they crossed genre's so seamlessly. From Hip Hop to Punk to Jazz, they did it all, and they did it well.

    May 4, 2012 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
  42. gina pb

    I had a little horsie named paul revere. Just me and my horsie and a quart of beer!!

    May 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Report abuse |
  43. sassysticks53

    RIP MCA. Never considered the Beastie Boys a hip hop act – considered them more punk rock than hip hop or rap. Nevertheless, it's sad MCA died so young of cancer.

    May 4, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  44. Denise

    "In your face" and "fun times"...that's what I thnk and feel when I hear "The Beastie Boys". Fresh, funny, and full of imagination. Fight For Your Right and Intergalactic are my favorites. Only a few years younger than me, MCA was much too young to leave us but at least he was able to do what he truly loved for all of his adult life. I'm thankful that he left behind a music legacy that never fails to get me up and moving erratically with a smile on my face. RIP MCA.

    May 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  45. 98026JE

    Comments on here about how he and Mike D, and Adam H are undeserving of the RRHF should be ashamed of themselves.

    R.I.P MCA.

    "So I Pledge Here Before Everyone Who's Listening
    To Try To Make My Every Action For The Good Of All Beings
    For The Rest Of My Lifetimes And Even Beyond
    I Vow To Do My Best To Do No Harm "

    -MCA 'Bodhisattva Vow'

    May 4, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Ryan in Texas

    So sad. He was too young.
    If you never heard "Paul's Boutique" – you should check it out. When the record companies and the business side of the industry wanted them to make another Licensed to Ill, they did what true artists did and went to the frontier. It was ahead of it's time. I think I didn't even listen to it much for the first couple of years. But then I picked it back up, and it was true genius.
    Also, we can't forget that he changed from the kid in the 1980'S to a thoughtful man in the 1990's. Here was a person that GOT IT (eventually). He really became a role model through his advocacy of good causes. He did more benfits than any other artist I can think of. And he really believed in political and religious freedom as a cause.
    He believed in peace – may he rest in peace.
    Without doubt he left this world a better place.

    May 4, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  47. DMA

    By letting Madonna, Joni Mitchell (sp) AFRIKA and MANY other groups that certainly do not fit the Rock genre get into the RRHF....they demean the so called 'honor'. Then the people that actually cast the ballot totally leave out Chicago...go figure....I am from this actually makes sense...look at our sports teams, the city sinking to new levels of poverty and politcal thievery every day. Pray for US!

    May 4, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Chucker

    Maybe this isn't the time or the place but the Beastie Boys didn't deserve to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I didn't mind the Beastie Boys, not my favourite group, but I liked what they tried to do with their genre. Nonetheless, they don't deserve a place in the RRHF. Of course, that statement opens it up for comment on all the other dozens of acts that have been inducted but should not be there. Madonna, anyone?

    May 4, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • worldbelow

      You don't know what hall of fame means

      May 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • deeboo

      you're right, this isn't the time or place, d-bag. your opinion is of no consequence. go get a job at the hard rock cafe and baffle people with your be all/end all assumptions about music. in the mean time, let those of us who grew up listening to and living celebrate the life of a great musician, artist and person.

      May 4, 2012 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • name

      you're right , this isnt the time or place. leave your negative comments on a different message board, this one is for remembering Adam Yauch. not very cool chucker.. not cool at all

      May 5, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
    • joshua

      You are correct; it is neither the time nor place.

      May 5, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  49. k8smomma

    Too sad to think of a favorite. I'll think of one later while I'm listening to all of their music since I'm pretty sure I have it all. Still processing that he's gone. So sad!!

    May 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Kitty wrangler

    The sheriff's after me cuz what I did to his daughter...

    MCA and the boys play the soundtrack of some of the best moments of my life. One being seeing them in concert and parting with them afterward.

    Peace to MCA's family.

    May 4, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  51. @BakedBean

    Hey ladies!!!!

    May 4, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  52. k8smomma

    Too sad and shocked to think of a favorite. He will be sorely missed!! Still can't believe it.

    May 4, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  53. Måd

    Paul's Boutique is one of my favorite albums.

    May 4, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Brook

    My favorite is not even a Billboard Top 100. By far, Paul Revere is my favorite song. Now, here's a little story I gots to tell ...

    May 4, 2012 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mizzouproud

      about three bad brothers you know so well. It started way back in history with Ad rock,MCA and me Mike D.
      RIP MCA

      May 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • mish510

      Paul Revere is DEFINITELY THEE fave.....I was only 5 or 6 but me and my aunt who I totally looked up to and admired would rock out to this song in her 280Z and I felt SO COOL....and as young as I was I knew this was good music! RIP MCA 🙁 Thanks for the memories!

      May 4, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  55. cheach

    Sad news, gotta love the Beastie Boys. I wore out 3 copies of the cassette for Licensed to Ill, loved Paul's botique, and check your head, hello nasty, all great. MCA what with it, and he's my ace, so I grabbed the piano player and punched him the face.

    May 4, 2012 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |

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