We’ve known he was fighting cancer since 2009, and yet today’s awful news still feels completely shocking and unreal: Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys has died at 47. The Beastie Boys are so essential to the evolution of hip-hop — not to mention funk, rock, and countless other genres fused within their jams — that the thought of MCA being gone is simply too hard to fully fathom at the moment. Even on their most recent record, Hot Sauce Committee Part Two, Yauch and Co. remained as inspired and vital as ever. In short, Yauch’s contribution to music, art, and activism will be sorely missed around here and perpetually revered the world over. Tributes to Yauch were everywhere today, with more sure to arrive over the coming weeks. The best place to start, though, is with an obituary shared by the group’s surviving members over on their site. From there, check out Sasha Frere-Jones’ moving, personal remembrance as a lifelong fan and early acquaintance at The New Yorker.