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Friday, May 4, 2012

R.I.P. Adam Yauch, the Beastie Boys' Visual and Humanitarian Genius

Posted By on Fri, May 4, 2012 at 1:54 PM

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The Boys' only real misstep was 2004's To the 5 Boroughs, which still received five stars in Rolling Stone. The group's popularity has never flagged, even as their lyrics and videos became downright PG. Last year's dubby, summery Hot Sauce Committee Part Two was received much better than its predecessor. Only Rage Against the Machine came close to fulfilling the utopian punk-rap-funk promise of the Beasties' career, and that band lasted about 20 fewer years.

"Body Movin'" (directed by Yauch as Nathanial Hörnblowér)

Of his own contributions, Yauch helped give Spike Jonze a career in the director guise Nathanial Hörnblowér, crafting instantly memorable clips such as the cop-show spoof of "Sabotage" and Godzilla-cum-Power Rangers B-movie that was "Intergalactic." He started the Milarepa fund for Tibet, organized the first Tibetan Freedom Concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, and later founded the New Yorkers Against Violence benefit. Most recently, Yauch created a successful film distributor (Oscilloscope Laboratories), directed a well-received basketball documentary (Gunnin' for That No. 1 Spot), and directed Elijah Wood, Will Ferrell, and Seth Rogen, among others, in a sequel to the "Fight for Your Right" video last year.

Yauch is survived by his wife, daughter and parents, along with a staggering musical and humanitarian legacy.

Yauch speaks at the VMAs about the Middle East

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