You could make the case that Adam Yauch, also known as MCA, who died today, was the most important Beastie Boy. The other two—Ad Rock and Mike D—in the three-card-monty lyrical shuffle, you could be forgiven for confusing them. But there was never any doubt about which one was MCA. While the other two were clearly educated white boys trying to rap, Yauch was gifted with a gravelly soulfulness they simply didn’t have and never would. Yauch had a danger about him in the early days: The other two guys looked like jokers, city kids having hipster-ironic fun before we called it that, but MCA invoked the classic street hood. There was nothing ironic about his leather jacket and scraggly beard — the irony (different kind) came later, when the seeming Beastie-est of the Beastie Boys turned out Buddhist.
Mix the Bass Ale with the Guinness Stout, and pour some out… for Yauch.