Beastie Boys Rapper and Filmmaker Adam Yauch Dies at 48

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After nearly three years of struggling with cancer, filmmaker and Beastie Boys rapper MCA, otherwise known as Adam Yauch, has died at the age of 48.

According to Rolling Stone, Yauch, one of the three members of the long-lived punk-turned-hip-hop band, was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 after a tumor was discovered on his salivary gland.

In addition to co-founding the Beastie Boys in 1979 with Mike Diamond and Adam Horowitz, Yauch had a long-standing involvement in the movie scene. He has more than 30 soundtrack credits on films like "Baby Mama," "17 Again," "Horrible Bosses" and "Iron Man 2," and also wrote, directed, produced and appeared in films and documentaries.

His first Hollywood effort was directing a 1989 short film called "Shadrach," which promoted the band's song of the same name. He went on to direct and produce the "Beastie Boys: Video Anthology," a 2008 high school sports documentary called "Gunnin' for That #1 Spot," and last year's short Beastie Boys comedy "Fight for Your Right Revisited," for which he wrote the screenplay.

He also wrote the script for last year's short comedy video "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win."

In 2002, Yauch formed Oscilloscope Laboratories, which served as a recording studio but also distributed "Gunnin' for That #1 Spot," as well as "Wendy and Lucy," "We Need to Talk About Kevin" and "Exit Through the Gift Shop," among others.

Yauch is also credited with composing four projects, including the 2002 film "Keep Your Eyes Open" and the 2006 audience-shot documentary "Awesome; I F**kin' Shot That!" which he also directed and produced.

Perhaps his biggest passion project, apart from band-related films, was his producer work on the 1998 documentary "Free Tibet." Yauch played a major role in organizing the 1996 Tibetan Freedom Concerts in San Francisco, where the Beastie Boys were featured performers, as well as the documentary film that followed the shows.