The news of Adam Yauch’s untimely death on Friday continues to reverberate throughout the world and especially the music industry. From the multitude of reactions and expressions of sympathy from celebrities to the emotionally charged words from fans, Yauch’s death has many in mourning.
MTV News took to the airwaves to express our appreciation for the influential artist with the one-hour special “Adam Yauch: Remembering a Beastie Boy,” during which we reflected on the legendary MC’s career and the indelible mark he made on music as a whole, as well as on society.
One of the more poignant aspects of the 60-minute tribute was a look back at Yauch’s involvement in founding the Tibetan Freedom Concert, the first of which drew influential acts like the Smashing Pumpkins, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Rage Against the Machine and raised $800,000 to help support Tibetan social-justice causes.
MTV News once spoke to Yauch about why he chose to get involved in promoting awareness for social issues.
“Whatever involvement I’m able to put in it, it definitely makes me feel good to be able to help with that,” Yauch said about the Tibetan Freedom Concert. “It’s really everyone working together. It’s all the artists who put in their time and all the people who come down to the show that actually care about it, people involved in putting it on.
“One thing Buddhism teaches is the only thing that brings us lasting happiness, that really makes us happy, is when we do things to benefit other people,” he explained. “Trying to make money, buy cool sneakers, those things don’t lead to any lasting happiness.”
Yauch said what made him happiest was being able to use his fame in a positive way.
“When you do things to benefit people from a pure place in your heart, that’s a feeling that lasts no matter what happens,” he said. “It’s given some meaning to me to be famous and be able to make music if I can use that attention to help other people — that gives some meaning to that.”
Share your memories of Adam on Twitter using the hashtag #RIPMCA.