One of the Beastie Boys has died: Adam "MCA" Yauch, who had been fighting cancer, is dead at age 47, report TMZ and GlobalGrind. Yauch and fellow Beasties Adam "Ad-rock" Horovitz and "Mike D" Diamond were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last month, notes AP, though Yauch himself couldn't make the ceremony. Critics initially dismissed the group as "beer-drinking frat boys" because of songs like "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)!" wrote the AP's Tom Withers around the time of the induction. "But the Beasties eventually won over critics and fans with their sharp lyrics, samples, and beats."
In fact, the New York Times obit for Yauch refers to the Beasties as a "seminal" hip-hop band. "Emerging from the hard-core punk scene in New York in the late 1970s, the Beastie Boys were the first white group to successfully sing rap songs and have remained popular for more than a quarter century," writes James C. McKinley Jr. Yauch's illness had forced the group to delay the release of its latest album, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2."