Overheard on CNN.com: Fans of 'MCA' call Beastie Boys 'soundtrack' for teen rebels
Readers shared an outpouring of memories after the passing of Beastie Boys founding member Adam "MCA" Yauch.
May 4th, 2012
06:56 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Fans of 'MCA' call Beastie Boys 'soundtrack' for teen rebels

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Adam "MCA" Yauch, a founding member of the pioneering rap band Beastie Boys, died Friday after a nearly three-year battle with cancer, the band's publicist said. Our readers joined together in the comments section to remember a favorite artist.

Adam 'MCA' Yauch of the Beastie Boys dies at 47

Readers told us how they took the news.

hotpatata: "My first reaction was shock. My second reaction was to drive down a main city street with the windows down and 'No Sleep Til Brooklyn' blaring. Only after that did I allow the tears. I love you and miss you already, brother."

eyedontcare: "Speaking of brother - Oh brother!"

Maybe it's somewhat cliché, but the Beastie Boys' songs were like a soundtrack for many readers' lives.

DraftClinton: "Sad loss. The Beasties had not just a song, but an anthem for the 1980s generation."

Many readers exercised their right to party.

rbrman: "Putting an age on myself, but spring break would not have been the same without ("Licensed to Ill"). Every car cruzin wore that thing out in Daytona."

Alessia: "This one hurts. I grew up with the Beasties all the way to Cookie Puss, through Licensed to Ill, Paul's Boutique and so on and so forth. I have vivid memories of my 7th grade math class busting out 'Paul Revere' in the middle of a midterm. Seeing them live was always an experience. Condolences to his family and friends and to all of us fans throughout the years. Peace MCA!"

M1sf1ts: "I remember getting drunk in the park when I was 18, skating, and rockin da Beastie's. Good times."

The most-liked comment on this story hinted at the Beastie Boys' significance to the generations that grew up on their albums.

28Mamerican: "Two things bother me about this. First, I loved the Beastie Boys and one of them died ...
Second, they were cool when I was young and he was 47 which means I'm old."

shan22044: "Just wait until you hit 30. Then ... 35 (even worse). Then, 40! I can't even imagine! Notice a trend? 🙂 It is all down 'hill' from here."

Serdukar: "Off topic, but what's wrong with 40? If you keep in shape, you are on top of your career ... you have achieved (in most cases) everything you want. What's left is to enjoy it, and hey, the sex was never better, but now I don't have to worry about exams, money, place ... etc. ... etc. ... and besides, now is the time to try new things. 🙂 On topic: I am always outraged when young people die with cancer. If only medicine had the money the military gets to fight terror, cancer would be history. I lost a sister at the age of 35 and father at age of 59. Down with cancer."

nunyabizness71: "There is no money in curing cancer ..."

One commenter took special meaning from one of Yauch's remarks: "I didn't realize how much harm I was doing back then and I think a lot of rap artists probably don't realize it now."

Guy LeDouche: "Interesting. A rap artist taking accountability for his art. THAT never happens. RIP Adam. Your music is the backdrop of many good teen to early 20s memories."

Some said their music crossed genre boundaries.

downlowsoul: "Even if you didn't like the Beasties music....you have to admire their ability
to change through various chapters of expression. From hard core punk
to hip hop with searching experimentation; style and energy without
bounds. MCA's energy lives on."

Commenters commiserated.

Mike Drake: "Great to see all the people on here who get the genius behind what the Beastie Boys did and who grew up with their music. I didn't care for 'Licensed To Ill' when it came out (love it now), but then I heard "Paul's Boutique"....my jaw is still on the floor. I'm not even a little upset at the occasional negative comment on this thread...I just feel sorry for the people who missed out on what pioneers the BBs were and missed out on a chance to get their mind blown by the music."

Not everyone was a fan.

drowlord: "I never liked them. It brought a slight smile to my face when I saw that one of them was dead. I read the article and then felt bad about it. What I always disliked about the Beastie Boys was that they always advocated bad attitudes and self-destruction (drugs and partying). It gives me some respect for him to see that he didn't mean that stuff and regrets the bad influence he had on others."

But others were very enthusiastic.

Silversword: "They made the same impact to the world and music as The Beatles and Elvis. They took something called rap and introduced it to Suburban America from the ghettos of the Bronx and Queens. Today, because of them, Hip Hop and Pop rule the world. RIP MCA ..."

toadears: "No they did not, and history will prove me right. They were a gimmick, like Eminem."

CNNuthin: "toadears, Go look up a few of their albums and be nostalgic for a minute. Remember what those albums meant, where they were played, what the news stories about them were like. Then you can see what Silversword is saying. I also would not hold them up with the Beatles or Elvis, but they did everything else Silver mentioned."

Yauch's illness scared several.

Lil Bit: "Pretty scary how fast something as unnoticeable as a 'small throat lump' can kill you. Sad. My kids are just beginning to associate band names to songs they like. Just old enough to know who this is."

Some said they respect the Boys' evolution.

Mohammed_Al_Sandusky: "They chilled out and matured a lot when they got older. Most rappers don't."

Fans will be paying their tributes this weekend.

SHAPE_Sparty: "The Beastie Boys is one of my favorite bands of all time. I'm sorry to hear he passed. I shall spend this weekend listening to my favorite BBoys albums. I shall start with PAUL'S BOUTIQUE and follow with Check Your Head. From there, I haven't a clue, they are all amazing! Riddle me this/brother can you handle it? The world has lost one righteous and awesome artist."

For many, it's the memories that count.

Scottpt1: "I'm not into rap ... but their music represents a time in my life ... a pretty darn good time ... prayers and thoughts to the family ... RIP."

And the music.

Counteract: "Damn. These guys brought rap in a whole new direction and did it with some style, humor and talent. RIP Adam, condolences to the family. You'll get to live on brother, through your music, your fans and the impact you all made on the music industry. What a shame. Obviously, it's a shame when anyone is affected by this horrible disease and no one's loss is any less important or painful because Adam was famous, so to all of you who've been affected by this disease, including myself...stay strong. We'll eventually beat this m*****f***er."

WRC04: "First heard them on vinyl in '86. Was so young but they immediately made an impression on me. Have been a fan ever since. MCA was always my favourite Beastie. Sucks big time."

Immediately after the news broke out about Yauch's death, we had seen some interesting reactions.

Beastie Boys rapper 'MCA' dies

Dirkha: "Very sad news. I wish I had made the effort to see these guys live when I had the chance. Paul's Boutique is one of the greatest albums ever! RIP brother MCA"

Brown: "Dirkha ... picture this ... dark stage. Sound. Lights up. Mix Master Mike is jammin. For like 5 minutes. He's spinning and grooving and scratching and getting the party started ... then ... out onto the stage bust the Beastie Boys who rock out 3 stellar songs. You are 5 feet from the stage. Then ... suddenly ... the house goes dark and the music stops cold ... what happened? 10 seconds goes by. Sound fills the hall again ... lights are still black. Can't see my hand in front of my face. Its Mix Master Mike back at it. You can hear him switching and flipping his beats. He's pumpin it with the baseline groovin with record scratches placed here and there the whole nine yards and he is just going to TOWN. THEN ... lights emerge ... something on stage left, audience right is happening. It become apparent that the light from stage left is emerging because there is a circular stage that is spinning around. As the circle stage turns around ... you see Mix Master Mic is NOWHERE to be seen. It's the beasties jammin on their instruments. Ad-Rock is supplying the guitar and 'record scratches' from his guitar, MCA is groovin on the Bass and Mike D is well ... He's being Mike D and the whole thing is GROOVIN!!! Amazing. Simply amazing brain tease they pulled ... GREAT!!! If you learn to love, its great to be alive."

An eerie moment?

Keiff: "What sad news. It's kind of creepy. Yesterday, I realized that I had no Beastie Boys on my dash unit's hard drive, so this morning, I copied their albums onto a thumb drive, then forgot about it as I took my daughter to school. I turned around and had her run in and get it ... then jammed the B-Boys all the way into to work. RIP MCA ... you'll be missed brother!"

You'll be hearing it play.

Patrick: "Every music device in the home/car/office will be churning out Beastie Boys all weekend! RIP, Adam, you'll be missed, but your music will live on forever."

Where is MCA now?

ImpishLisa: "Oh wow. This is sad news. That first album was a teenager rebel's soundtrack. They were a great group of guys that did it their way and what others thought be danged. I hope MCA is somewhere partying hard, rapping about things and enjoying himself. Have a quart of beer for us as you ride on Paul Revere, buddy."

Do you have memories of the MCA and the Beastie Boys? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. Or sound off on video via CNN iReport.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. fernace

    I've been a bit sad & yet uplifted, all day! A very strange sensation! On 1 hand I'm sad MCA didn't survive his battle w/cancer, but on the other I'm sure he's onto other challenges! I believe in reincarnation & if memory serves me right, he did too! The Beasties music is like the Police, the Clash in a mashup w/Public Enemy or NWA: Classic! It's amazing & a great honor to live on through your music & MCA has done himself & his bandmates proud! Music to rock by, to party by, to hang by, to dance by, just to "be" by! I hope America & the world celebrates Adam"MCA" Yauch, the Beasties, their music & their legasy tonight!!

    May 4, 2012 at 11:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Peter Pan

    I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys-R-Us kid!!

    May 5, 2012 at 5:34 am | Report abuse |
  3. jon

    This is the one and only time I have ever shed a tear about a celebrity death. Words can't even describe the joy this man (and Mike D and Adam H) brought to my life through their music. It was the soundtrack to my life for so very long.

    May 5, 2012 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Say it ain't so

    It's a tragic loss not just for the hip hop community but for all music period. As a kid growing up in the 80's you could not escape the beastie boys. Wether in school or mtv (when music videos were still being played), they were always mentioned along with ll cool j, run-dmc, the fat boys etc, etc. So much so that they even appeared on the early rap movie "krush groove", singing one of their early songs "she's on it". RIP Adam, you will be missed.

    May 5, 2012 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
  5. Jas

    It saddens me when some people focus solely on the License to Ill period. Yes, it was groundbreaking album, but it was more or less Rick Rubin's baby. The Beasties, knowing they had so much more style and substance than the image they portrayed at that time, broke away from Rick and ultimately expressed disdain and regret for that period of their career. They are one of the very few hip hop acts that matured and went on to produce some very creative and positive work, even playing most of the music themselves. They went on to much greater success and survived to this day in a hip hop industry that for the most part, just sank further into an abyss of misgyny and violence (not to mention the causes they worked so hard for). They deserve a lot of respect.

    May 5, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  6. Eric

    Pauls Boutique to me was always a true masterpiece hip-hop album. I feel a bit of my youth gone. RIP MCA : ) you will be remembered as a true hip-hop pioneer.

    May 5, 2012 at 9:04 pm | Report abuse |