RIP Adam Yauch: Mario Cotto Pays Tribute

This is difficult.

Not because I can’t think of things to say but because there is so much to say.

How to express both the crushing sadness and endless gratitude for a life?

Adam Yauch, aka MCA (aka Nathanial Hornblower aka Nathan Wind) was our modern manhood’s infinitely cooler older brother. And like an older brother, whether he intended to do so or not, he taught us how to be.

Snotty, raucous, and hilarious, MCA was punk as f*ck and compelled us to revel in our youth. If we were partying, it wasn’t hard enough. It wouldn’t matter anyways, because he was going to make sure to piss everyone off AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE, so that later on they wouldn’t think anything we did was nearly as bad. He crashed the car, so that when we burned the house down they wouldn’t be as mad.

He then made it cool to be uncool. To wear thrift store clothes, dig on pop culture arcana and go deep. Moving to L.A., dressing in leisure suits, namechecking Dolemite and sampling disco cuts 2 decades before it was retro enough to even like disco again is seriously deep. Not to mention singlehandedly revolutionizing the art of sampling with the Dust Brothers and creating arguably rap music’s Sistine Chapel.

Then came the exploration of discipline and practice as transcendent. Through spiritual practice and a disavowal of the recklessness and nihilism of youth, he showed us that there is even greater liberation in seeking righteousness. That this change of heart can give one’s life and music an exalted purpose. And this wasn’t hypocrisy or a matter of trying to have cake and eat it too, this was genuine growth and expansion. A human being in 4 dimensions. The sincerity of heart so powerful that it made us want to be like him again, thoughtful and caring.

Part of that entailed investing in his musicianship and showing that he was not only a wicked MC and lyricist, but a fully rounded artist. Seeing him switch it up from a Fender jazz to the upright bass in Madison Square Garden was a moment seared on this brain. Seeing him accept a music video award in leiderhosen another one. I doubt I was the only kid to pick up a bass and then direct an alternate version of Sabotage! (which was actually just a terrible carbon copy of the original just because it looked like so much damned fun.)

That’s the most amazing aspect of it. That it was never NOT FUN. He was still the same MCA…just ever increasingly wiser and wiser and funnier.

He was a shining example of the real difference between righteousness and self-righteousness, the difference between importance and self-importance. He spoke with authority without being preachy.
And he continually vocalized his spiritual quest from a personal perspective, not as something anyone else needed to do (which was all the more inspiring.)

I wish I could’ve met him, but it’s okay that I didn’t because I know and feel his work. And it changed me.

Adam Yauch was our collective older brother. And he was beautiful and amazing and good. And he will be missed intensely and remembered with tears and laughter by millions. And now he is free.



  1. how to buy zija products
    February 8, 2013, 3:03 pm

    It’s actually a cool and valuable piece of information and facts. I’m delighted which you just shared this practical info with us. Please retain us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. joseph ho
    January 19, 2013, 8:38 am

    pretty handy stuff, overall I believe this is really worth a bookmark, thanks

  • Couldn't have said it better myself. I feel as though I lost a homie someone from my hood a friend that dates back to a sandlot. I was merely 13 years old when License to Ill was released and it blew my mind away from the first track. I was already break dancing to Run DMC and LL Cool J. However The Beasties where white and in many cases for a young Latina in Los Angeles the Beasties where a bit of how I at the time reflected. I skated and I punked rock too so the Beasties came to my world and said Its cool you don't gotta be black to be hip hop. MCA mad mad respects go out I am sad and rejoicing for he is no longer suffering from such a horrible disease. MCA RIP!

  • Beautiful

  • MSG – that was a pretty awesome show.

    I still talk about that amazing moment when the spot was on Mixmaster Mike playing with Rush's Tom Sawyer, and then…
    Every single light in the house came up all at once, and the three of them were on stage, starting a ride that didn't (you can't, you won't, and you don't) stop until hours later.

  • It’s in reality a great and useful piece of information. I am satisfied that you shared this helpful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

  • i like how people think on this blog I enjoy Montmartre!

  • Hello, Neat post. There is an issue with your web site in web explorer, would check this?IE still is the marketplace leader and a huge section of other people will miss your wonderful writing due to this problem.

  • You may have a very nice layout for the blog, i want it to use on my website as well .

  • Appreciating the time and energy you put into your web site and in depth information you give. It’s awesome to encounter a blog just about every once in a though that isn’t the same out of date rehashed information. Wonderful read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  • Awseome article, I am a big believer in placing comments on websites to help the blog writers know that they’ve added some thing of great benefit to the world wide web!

  • pretty handy stuff, overall I believe this is really worth a bookmark, thanks

  • how to buy zija products

    It’s actually a cool and valuable piece of information and facts. I’m delighted which you just shared this practical info with us. Please retain us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.