As a founding member of the Beastie Boys, Adam Yauch was a hip-hop pioneer.
Following the sad news of Yauch's death from cancer, E! News pays tribute to MCA, who—along with fellow bandmates Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horowitz—arguably helped hip-hop cross over from what was then a niche genre to mainstream America in the '80s.
In Yauch's memory, here are five of the Beastie Boys most beloved music videos:
"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)"
This legendary clip from the hard-rockin' second single off their classic 1986 breakthrough album, License to Ill, took MTV by storm. It featured the trio crashing—what else?—a party and wreaking all kinds of havoc, including initiating a pie fight. Partying was never this much fun and rebellious.
"No Sleep Till Brooklyn"
The Beasties sent up mid-'80s glam metal bands to perfection with this hilarious clip for their guitar-heavy hit. Yauch machine-guns a stack of amps while he and his mates tangle with some burly security guards on their way to total stage domination. "No Sleep 'Till Brooklyn," indeed.
"So What'cha Want"
Vintage Beastie Boys. This video for the group's big hit off 1992's Check Your Head is directed by Yauch in the guise of his oft-used pseudonym Nathanial Hörnblowér. The Beasties take viewers on a low-fi psychedelic trip out in the woods as they yell their rhymes into a fisheye lense. It's a simple concept, but highly effective...and intense.
Our hip-hop heroes take on a whole new universe—sci-fi and Japanese monster movies—as we find Yauch and the crew playing a trio of aliens who crash their giant robot ship in the middle of Tokyo. The parody once again features the Beasties' now signature fisheye shot interspliced with footage of them gettin' down on various city streets and subway stations as well as in the flying robot.
Perhaps the most acclaimed music video the boys ever did, this Spike Jonze-directed doozy saw Yauch and company parodying those classic '70s police shows including Baretta, S.W.A.T. and Starsky and Hutch for the Beasties' rapcore hit. Each of the Beasties donned fake mustaches and wigs as they played cops taking down some bad guys. Credits rolled throughout the action with MCA credited for two roles—playing Sir Stewart Wallace (guest starring as himself, natch) and Nathan Wind (as Cochese).