Adam Yauch, Beastie Boys rapper and Oscilloscope Laboratories co-founder, dead at 47

Adam Yauch, better known as Beastie Boys rapper MCA, has passed away at 47.

That Yauch had recently been fighting cancer was well known. In 2009, he went public with this battle, against a cancerous parotid gland.

In addition to making musical hits for decades with the Beastie Boys, Yauch created the film distribution company Oscilloscope Laboratories with ThinkFilm vice president David Fenkel, building what has become one of the great champions of independent filmmakers in the new millenium.

Among the films Oscilloscope has distributed: “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” “Bellflower,” and Kelly Reichardt’s “Meek’s Cutoff” and “Wendy and Lucy.”

Thus, even those of us who are more attuned to the cinema scene than the music scene still owe a great debt of gratitude to Mr. Yauch, whose company will undoubtedly live on and expose many more great films in the future.

Rest in peace.