Adam Yauch, known best as the Beatie Boys rapper MCA, has passed away at the age of 47. From Pitchfork's obit:
The Beastie Boys are one of the most important and influential hip-hop groups of all time. They were instrumental in making hip-hop a global, mainstream force. Formed in 1981 as a hardcore band, they combined punk and rap into a singular sound that grew increasingly broad over the years, encompassing a vast array of genres. Yauch, Michael Diamond (Mike D), and Adam Horowitz (Ad-Rock) released several classic albums, including their debut album Licensed to Ill in 1986, 1989's Paul's Boutique, and 1994's Ill Communication.
Yauch directed Beastie Boys videos under the pseudonym Nathaniel Hornblower, as well as the 2008 basketball documentary Gunnin' for #1 Spot under his own name. He also ran a film production and distribution company, Oscilloscope Pictures, that shepherded many films, including Wendy and Lucy, We Need to Talk About Kevin, and the forthcoming LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits. In the mid-1990s, he co-founded theMilarepa Fund, which raised money for the Tibetan independence movement. They put on a series of benefit concerts, the Tibetan Freedom Concerts.