The passing of Adam Yauch was a sad way to enter the weekend. As one-third of the Beastie Boys, MCA won over millions of fans and shaped today’s pop culture landscape. Yauch’s creativity extended far past what was laid down in the recording studio and into the creation of some of the most influential music videos of all time. This talent eventually bled over into film when Yauch co-founded the Oscilloscope Laboratories. A distribution company he used to curate and release independent films and documentaries like Dear Zachary, The Exploding Girl, Meek’s Cutoff, and We Need to Talk About Kevin, as well as the Yauch-directed Awesome: I F*ckin’ Shot That! and Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot.
I really feel that we just lost one of the coolest men in the world. To honor him and the innovations he gave us, I’ve put together a few of his most groundbreaking and filmic works.
The Beasties exploded into the mainstream with their anti-partying party anthem. The video depicts a party that goes awry when “bad people” show up. This video actually owes its premise from an unlikely place… George Romero‘s Dawn of the Dead. The film features scenes of a motorcycle gang who crash into a zombie-filled mall, overturning everything, smashing televisions, and attacking zombies with pies to the face. The video budget being non-existent, the Beasties famously used rancid whipped cream they found in the garbage cans behind the supermarket.
The art form of music videos were brought to a new level thanks to Sabotage. Directed by frequent collaborator Spike Jonze, the video is an homage to the cop dramas of the 1970’s. Wearing wigs and fake mustaches, the band played the show characters in the fictionalized credit sequence. When the video didn’t take home the top honors at the MTV Video Music Awards, MCA bum-rushed the stage in the guise of Nathaniel Hornblower to protest the dis. It’s safe to say, MCA had great influence over Kanye’s career.