Adam Nathaniel Yauch (pronounced IPA /jaʊk/), also known as MCA and Nathaniel Hörnblowér, (born August 5, 1964), is a founding member of hip hop trio the Beastie Boys.
Yauch, an only child, was born in Brooklyn, New York
. He is of Jewish
descent. He learned to play the bass
, and played his first show with the Beastie Boys — then still playing hardcore punk
in the vein of Reagan Youth
— on his 17th birthday, while still attending Edward R. Murrow High School
in the Midwood
neighborhood of Brooklyn. He attended Bard College
before dropping out. By the time Yauch was 22, producer Rick Rubin
had taken the Beastie Boys under his wing and they had released their first album on Def Jam Records
as a hip hop trio.
While on the hiatus from the Beastie Boys' debut album, Licensed to Ill
, Yauch started a New York
-based band called Brooklyn. They released an EP
called Brooklyn Sessions
around 1987. It features the bass line that would eventually become "Gratitude", a song off of the Beastie Boys' third album, Check Your Head
In 2007, Yauch went to work on Build a Nation
, the comeback album from hardcore punk band Bad Brains
. Yauch has stated that Bad Brains had great influence on his musical career.
Although he has Jewish
roots, Yauch is a Buddhist
He is actively involved with the Free Tibet movement
, an organisation created to put pressure on the People's Republic of China
to respect human rights
. Funds for the cause were also generated from the royalties to Buddhist-inspired Beasties tracks like "Bodhisattva Vow". In 1996, Yauch helped organize the first Tibetan Freedom Concert
in San Francisco, California
. His wife, Dechen Wangdu, is from New York City; her parents are from Tibet. Their daughter, Tenzin, is nine years old.
In addition to his work with the Beastie Boys, Yauch is also an avid snowboarder
. He is featured in the video game Tony Hawk's Proving Ground
as an unlockable character.
Under the pseudonym
"Nathanial Hörnblowér, Yauch has directed many of the Beastie Boys' music videos
. Yauch made his televised debut as Hornblower at the 1994 MTV Video Music Awards
as he stormed the stage in costume to protest after R.E.M.
won the award for Best Direction over the Spike Jonze
directed Beastie Boys video "Sabotage". He also directed the 2006 Beastie Boys concert film Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!
, though in the DVD extras for the film, the title character in "A Day in the Life of Nathanial Hörnblowér" is played by David Cross
. He also directed the 2008 film Gunnin' For That #1 Spot
about eight high school basketball
prospects at the Boost Mobile Elite 24 Hoops Classic
at Rucker Park
, New York City
Yauch founded Oscilloscope Laboratories, a NYC-based recording studio, film production and distribution company, and post-production facility. Oscilloscope Pictures’ recently released Gunnin For That #1 Spot
, and their theatrical lineup includes Irena Salina’s Flow
), Caroline Suh’s Frontrunners
), and Kelly Reichardt's Wendy and Lucy
Yauch played bass on the song "OG Crew", featuring Abstract Rude
, Volume 10, DK Toon, Dinji Brown, Myka Nyne, PEACE, and Ganjah k.