What is the deal with us losing our hip-hop legends at young ages? No, I don't mean the senseless (though, let's face it, expected) deaths of Pac and Biggie years ago. I mean the 40-somethings. Or maybe it was just that Heavy D's passing was so huge that it seemed like there have been more. Regardless, this latest one was another one I didn't see coming.
I will never forget the first time I heard the Beastie Boys. Run-DMC were at the height of their popularity and had successfully crossed rap over to the mainstream. There were some naysayers that tried to dismiss it as a cultural phenomenon that wouldn't last primarily because it had such a narrow fan-base. What they really meant was it wouldn't last because only our folks were doing it. Then along came the Beastie Boys. And unlike the gimmick of a Vanilla Ice that would come along later, these were white guys that actually had skills.
Honestly, I didn't think the Beasties would have the lengthy career that they did. They managed to keep recreating theirselves so that they could grow a broader audience. Sure, they lost most of us true hip-hop fans once they started going off in that spacesound alternative music they went to, but somebody must have liked it because they kept selling records. It's all good because no matter what they did we always had their hip-hop classic "License to Ill" to remember them by.
I had no idea that MCA even had cancer. Apparently he had been treating for it since 2009 after they discovered a tumor in his salivary gland. I have never known anyone to have cancer and lived with it peacefully so it's good to know that he no longer has to live with any pain. One of hip-hop's true pioneers shouldn't have to live his final days in distress.
Rest in peace, MCA.