Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys
Evan Agostini, Getty Images

Adam 'MCA' Yauch of the popular and pioneering rap group Beastie Boys, died today (May 4) after a nearly three-year battle with cancer. The bold use of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Aerosmith samples on their first album, 1986's 'Licensed to Ill,' helped introduce a whole new generation to hip-hop. The group would expand their sound by adding live instruments – MCA was one helluva bass player — and successfully weave rock, funk, jazz and punk influences into their later albums. Yauch's friend and peers took to Twitter immediately to express their love and sadness for this recently inducted member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

 
RIP Adam Yauch!!!! Dammit!!!!!
 
RIP Adam. Your contributions to music and humanity will be remembered forever. Our hearts go out to MCA's family, and fellow Beastie's.
 
Sad day. MCA was fucking awesome. RIP man. We'll miss you very much.
 
Rip dear Adam Yauch. Words can't express the sadness and loss. Ur humor, talent & gentle soul are just irreplacable. Be at peace brother.
 
Very sorry to hear about Adam Yauch from The Beastie Boys. Glad though that the Rock Hall was able to honor the Beasties last month.
 
MCA. Everybody is a Beastie Boys fan. That's hard to do. A great life.
 
The Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch is dead at 47, Rolling Stone has confirmed. very sad news
 
Oh, no. No no no. Goddamit. Seriously. Goddamit. #RIPMCA
 
Prayers and all the love I could ever muster for Adam Yauch. What a beautiful man. God bless his beautiful soul. A class act all the way