As soon as I read that Adam Yauch had died, the first few beats of “Intergalactic” started playing in my head, accompanied not by the usual feeling I get of wanting to jump and dance, but instead with disbelief, sadness:

“Intergalactic plan-et-ary plan-et-tary intergalactic.”

Rapper and Beastie Boys founder Adam Yauch, otherwise known as MCA, wasn’t a gun-hungry, money-loving womanizer like many of those who dominate the popular rap/hip-hop sphere today; Yauch was for peace, and for art, and for letting others experience those things, but not without quirky beats and quality sampling.

With his death yesterday, the music and creative generation lost a member that served as the constant reminder of what music and art can achieve. Never taunting the crowd with their “hun’eds” or their ladies, Yauch, Michael Diamond and Adam Horovitz — who together made up the Beastie Boys — instead made music with an air of activism (re: “(You gotta) fight for your right (to party)”) and was not about getting laid (re: “Here’s a little something for ya”). And, always, their albums reverberated their home: New York City. They stayed true Yauch’s style on all of their albums up through the latest “Hot Sauce Committee Part Two,” which was delayed two years due to Yauch’s battle with cancer.

Yauch had salivary gland cancer for three years. He was 47 years old when he passed away and I’m not the only one that knows that he was too young. Check Twitter and all the leading new sites; mourning his loss will undoubtedly come from all the crowds and lives he influenced.

Yauch formed the Beastie Boys in 1981 when he was 17 years old. And while the group stands out most obviously because they are three white Jewish rappers, they proved they could rap as well as the rest when their first full album, License to Ill, — released in 1986 — was the first hip-hop album to reach the number one spot on the Billboard 200. Their induction into the Rock and Roll hall of fame last month, which MCA could not attend because of his sickness, proved it.

MCA was someone who cared. Moreover, he was socially conscious, as exhibited by the benefit concerts he organized. Among the slew of them was the show in 1996 for Tibetan Freedom that rivaled Live Aid’s and another after September 11th where the proceeds were given to those affected that wouldn’t have otherwise gotten support.

He was an artist. He started his own film production company called Oscilloscope Laboratories that was most recently responsible for Banksy’s “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” among other films. He also directed some of the Beastie Boys’ music videos — including “Intergalactic” — using the alias Nathanial Hörnblowér, but directed the most recent video for “Make Some Noise,” from the Beastie Boys’ latest album, under his own name. It stars Elijah Wood, Will Ferrell, Seth Rogen and Jack Black. If you haven’t seen the “Make Some Noise” video, watch it now if for no other reason than to pay homage to a legend.

Multifaceted and passionate about his work, Yauch was rare. I think because I respected his work and his purpose, his death is particularly sad. The first time I watched a Beastie Boys video on TRL, I laughed: They looked like they were having too much fun to be serious, to be a real group. Once I discovered that they were exactly that — real (and had several number one albums) — my admiration grew.

It’s hard to think I won’t be able to dance to “Brass Monkey” anymore without acknowledging that he’s gone. MCA, Adam, thanks for doing it right.

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