Earlier this month the world loss a pioneer in hip-hop when Adam “MCA” Yauch died from cancer at 47. While we mourned the death of a great musician, Beastie Boys group member Adam Horovitz lost a lifelong friend. For the first time since MCA’s death on May 4, Horovitz opened up to RollingStone.com about the group’s vetoing system, MCA’s talent and fearlessness. When asked how he’s handling the pain Horovitz replied, “I’m totally numb.” He went on to reveal a time he was walking his dog and began to cry on the street. But through the grief he shares fond memories of Yauch.
Horovitz believes Yauch “was in charge.” He continued, “He was smarter, more organized.” According to Horovitz, MCA was the one with the extra drive to see that things got done. He described Yauch’s musical role as a “really good bass player that loved Daryl Jennifer of the Bad Brains. ” He remembers the group’s veto system where one person could veto an idea if they didn’t like it. He recalls vetoing Yauch’s cover art idea for Ill Communication, and Yauch later vetoing their idea on 2007’s The Mix-Up. Horovitz told Rollingstone.com that MCA wanted the album to be an instrumental. They tried persuading him to try out some vocals. MCA stuck to his guns and said, “No, it has to be instrumental.”
In the interview Horovitz discusses MCA’s desire to write music about love and nonviolence once he became a Buddhist, and writing on those feelings wasn’t easy for him. When MCA told Horovitz he had cancer he told him, “I’m gonna be ok.” Horovitz believed him saying he’d been right about most things. He took solace in the fact that Yauch wasn’t afraid. “We got jumped in Brooklyn one time, so we’ve been afraid in that sense,” said Horovitz. “But, man, he hadn’t been afraid in a long time. That gives me peace.”
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