Friend and longtime Beastie Boys art director Eric Haze, like many today, was hurt upon hearing the news that Adam “MCA” Yauch passed this morning from cancer. Haze hit Complex this afternoon to express his grief, remember working with his fallen pal on the artwork for their 1992 platinum album Check Your Head, and talk about how Yauch grew as a man over time.
“I was, of course, very saddened by the news of Adam Yauch's passing today—especially as he, along with The Beastie Boys, were a big part of my coming of age as a graphic artist. We will always be linked historically through the work we did together in the '80s and '90s.
“Adam was always outspoken and conceptual when it came to the identity of the Beastie Boys. One of my favorite quotes of his, when we were working on the Check Your Head album cover was that he wanted “the album to sound like it was recorded on a toaster oven." I always thought was such a brilliant analogy for the gritty lo-fi essence of what the album came to represent.
“I think it was also on the ‘Jimmy James’ single that he first had me use his ‘Hornblower Labs’ credit alias, already wanting to establish his second alter ego as director/producer, other than that of his persona as MCA.
“As he got older Adam clearly matured into his more serious side, as Buddhism and charitable contributions became a big part of his life's work as well. My sense was that he was also completely at peace outside of the spotlight as a family man.
“He was one of Brooklyn's native sons, one of hip-hop's pioneers, and a truly gentle soul who always had a good word and positive outlook to share. Adam Yauch will be missed and his loss will be felt within many communities for a long time to come.
“Thanks for all the good times, and rest in peace, brother.”