Five songs to remember Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys by

Five songs to remember Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys by
Adam "MCA" Yauch of the Beastie Boys, right, died May 4, 2012. (Beastie Boys / Facebook)

Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys -- perhaps better known to his fans as MCA -- died at the age of 47 one year ago, on May 4, 2012, after a lengthy battle with cancer. To mark the occasion, a New York City park was renamed in his honor on Friday in Brooklyn, not far from where Yauch grew up.

"It's fitting that we're here today to dedicate a playground to Adam Yauch because, like the Wu-Tang Clan, Beastie Boys is for the children," Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said at a ceremony attended by guests including Yauch's parents and fellow Beastie Adam "Ad-Rock" Horovitz, according to Rolling Stone.


Earlier this week, publisher Spiegel & Grau announced that it will publish a memoir by Horovitz and Yauch's other surviving bandmate, Michael "Mike D" Diamond. The book, tentatively due out in 2015, will no doubt include many fond rememberances of Yauch's life and work. Luke Janklow, the Beastie Boys' literary agent, told the New York Times, "After Yauch died, I didn't push them, but I think that Adam and Mike ended up realizing that it was the right time for them."

Here are five songs that demonstrate Yauch's enduring artistry.

"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)"

The Beasties' brat-rap breakthrough still delivers a primal thrill.

"So What'cha Want"

Is it any wonder that this arresting 1992 cut greatly expanded the group's audience?


As the band's bassist, Yauch created dozens of memorable lines. This is one of his funkiest.

"Sure Shot"

This track from 1994's "Ill Communication" found Yauch apologizing for the misogyny in some of his earlier rhymes.


"To try to change the world I will plot and scheme," Yauch rapped here, reflecting the social activism he pursued along with music.


Follow Mikael Wood on Twitter: @mikaelwood