Adam Yauch of Brooklyn's Beastie Boys, who went by the stage name MCA, has been reported dead by Russell Simmon's site globalgrind.com. He was 47.
Yauch had been battling cancer of the salivary gland since 2009. He is survived by his wife Dechen, daughter Tenzin Losel, and parents Frances and Noel Yauch.
Yauch, the only child of a Catholic father and Jewish mother, and the rest of the Beasties played their first show in Midwood at Edward R. Murrow High School.
Reaction from the community was immediate and passionate.
"It’s a great loss for hip hop," said Jay Mumford, who was hanging out at Breakdown Records on Bell Blvd. "I'm a hip hop kid, raised in the 80’s and 90’s— whenever you lose someone like that of your generation, you lose something," added Mumford, who himself is a record producer going by the name J-Zone.
It wasn't just music insiders that were down to hear the news.
"I remember singing [Yauch's music] at a year 2000 New Years Eve party in Prague!" said attorney, and local activist Steve Behar. "RIP MCA!" he added.
Yauch and friends Michael "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Adrock" Horovitz originally formed the Beastie Boys as a hardcore punk band on Yauch's 17th birthday. They went on to sell over 40 million records including four #1 albums, one of which was their 1986 debut "Licensed to Ill" which was also the first hip hop album to top the Billboard 200.
The group was last month.
Under the name Nathanial Hörnblowér, Yauch also directed a number of the band's most memorable music videos including "So Whatcha Want," "Intergalactic," "Body Movin" and "Ch-Check It Out."
"They had some really great music. It's a shame that it's the end," said Devon Rogers, a construction worker at a job site on State Street near Clinton.
Yaya Dialo, a teen waiting in line outside the United Artists Court Street Stadium movie theater was touched by the news.
Downtown Brookyn resident Daniella Rossalas-Friedman was walking along Atlantic near State street, "I grew up in Brooklyn and I grew up with the Beastie Boys and they are delightful. It's very sad to hear he's gone. He will be missed," she said.
Robert Myers contributed to this report.