When the Beastie Boys were being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in April, according to this from Rolling Stone, Adam Yauch, who you’d know better as MCA, sat it out due to his treatment for cancer since 2009. The rapper was diagnosed in 2009 after discovering a tumor in his salivary gland.

His treatments had delayed the release of the group's most recent album, Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2. The Beastie Boys had not performed live since the summer of 2009, and Yauch's illness prevented the group from appearing in music videos for Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 2.

And with him, a piece of your youth.

Think about it!

If you were 13 in 1986 (a mere 26 years ago), grew up listening to Kiss FM (which was the hip hop station of choice at the time and is now also gone), checkin’ out Licensed to Ill, and the other critically acclaimed albums like Paul's Boutique, Check Your Head and Ill Communication, that would make you 39 today…probably with a wife, 2 kids, and a mortgage over your head!

It might sound trite, but a piece of your youth just died!

I remember thinking, when I heard of the Beasties’ nomination into the hall, that there were more deserving rap and hip hop acts who should’ve received the honor.

But then I thought that while acts like the Sugarhill Gang, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five (all on the Jersey based Sugarhill label), and the Fatback Band, who had the first recognized rap record with “King Tim III –Personality Jock”, were pioneers of the genre; it struck me that these three guys, Yauch, Mike "Mike D" Diamond and Adam "Ad-Rock" Horowitz were actually innovators, and molded the genre beyond its racial boundaries!

And that’s what made them superstars.

The melding of 2 opposite forces in contemporary music at the time.

Rock and Hip Hop.

Recall how Aerosmith was received when they collaborated with Run DMC and did “Walk This Way”!

Rockers and rappers both decried the collaboration…each side claiming exclusivity to the individual genres.

Like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

How could you possibly combine chocolate and peanut butter?

While it may have been unthinkable in 1987, the rest is history.

Without the Beastie Boys, there’d be no 3rd Bass (“Pop Goes the Weasel), no Kid Rock, no House of Pain, no Eminem.

And just as when Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston passed away and sales of downloads of their music sored, you may be doing the same and heading over to iTunes right now to download “Hey Ladies!”

The innovator is gone, but the music lives on!