Each of the Beastie Boys brandished a style of rapping that set him apart from the pack. But for many fans, it was the distinctive growl of MCA that consistently rose above the beats. From the trio's rough and rowdy early tracks to their refined and respected final cuts, Adam Yauch delivered his rhymes with a depth, grit and lyrical precision that was renowned and respected in rap and rock circles alike.
Throughout his life, Yauch evolved from a street-wise Brooklyn brawler into a peace-practicing Buddhist activist, and his enlightenment was reflected in the lyrics he committed to wax over the years. Check out 10 of MCA's most famous verses and pay homage to one of hip-hop's most cherished voices.
"No Sleep Til Brooklyn" (1986)
"Born and bred in Brooklyn the U.S.A./ They call me Adam Yauch but I'm M.C.A./ Like a lemon to a lime a lime to a lemon/ I sip the def ale with all the fly women"
"Paul Revere" (1986)
"Now my name is M.C.A. I've got a license to kill/ I think you know what time it is it's time to get ill/ Now what do we have here an outlaw and his beer/ I run this land, you understand I make myself clear."
"Shake Your Rump" (1989)
"A puppet on a string I'm paid to sing or rhyme/ Or do my thing I'm in a lava lamp inside my brain hotel/ I might be freakin' or peakin' but I rock well"
"Pass The Mic" (1992)
"If you can feel what I'm feeling then it's a musical masterpiece/ If you can hear what I'm dealing with then that's cool at least/ What's running through my mind comes through in my walk/ True feelings are shown from the way that I talk"
"So What'cha Want" (1992)
"Well I'm as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce/ You've got the rhyme and reason but no cause/ Well if you're hot to trot you think you're slicker than grease/ I've got news for you crews you'll be sucking like a leech"
"Sure Shot" (1994)
"I want to say a little something that's long overdue/ The disrespect to women has got to be through/ To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends/ I want to offer my love and respect to the end"
"Root Down" (1994)
"Bob Marley was a prophet for the freedom fight/ 'If dancin' prays to the Lord then I shall feel alright'/ I'm feeling good to play a little music/ Tears running down my face 'cause I love to do it'
"Well I got to keep it going keep it going full steam/ Too sweet to be sour too nice to be mean/ On the tough guy style I'm not too keen/ To try to change the world I will plot and scheme"
"An Open Letter To NYC" (2004)
"Dear New York I hope you're doing well / I know a lot's happen and you've been through hell / So, we give thanks for providing a home / Through your gates at Ellis Island we passed in droves"
"Make Some Noise" (2011)
"Pass me the scalpel, I'll make an incision/ I'll cut off the part of your brain that does the bitching/ Put it in formaldehyde and put it on the shelf/ And you can show it to your friends and say that's my old self"
- List