Andrew Jacobs here,
While I'm well aware that Decibel Geek is a rock and metal site, I firmly believe that the Beastie Boys (which the late Adam "MCA" Yauch both co-founded and was a member of for over 30 years) not only fit quite well into the rock genre in general but had an enormous and undeniable influence on the genre (particularly throughout the entire decade of the 1990s) as well.
Like millions of other white suburban kids who grew up in the 1980s, the Beastie Boys made me a lifelong fan of rap and hip hop music in 1987 (they also have the distinction of being my favorite rap/hip hop band of all time). Though I was definitely aware of rap/hip hop well before that and even liked it, it took the Beasties to make me actually go out and buy rap/hip hop records (the first ones being, of course, Licensed To Ill and all of the accompanying singles & 12"s).
From 1987 all the way up until 1993, I pretty much bought every single Beastie recording that I could find. CDs, vinyl, cassettes and extended song mixes on all 3 of those formats as well as VHS tapes and interview discs. I saw the band in concert twice - the first time was when a large group of my friends and I went to the "Shadrach" video shoot at the Reseda Country Club in 1989 and the second time was at the Hollywood Palladium on the Check Your Head tour in 1992.
Because I wasn't too crazy about the Check Your Head album, I kinda stopped paying attention to the Beasties shortly after that and didn't even purchase Ill Communication when it was released in 1994. However, with the release of the super spectacular Hello Nasty (my favorite album of theirs) in 1998, I became a Beastie diehard once again.
This is all that I can bring myself to write about Yauch and the Beasties right now. I'm still in complete shock and disbelief at his passing.
Rest in peace, sir. And my deep and sincere condolences to Mike D, King-Ad Rock and the entire Yauch family.