I was going to post this in the already existing thread about Adam Yauch's recent passing, but given its potential to incite debate, I thought it more appropriate to post in D&D. Having grown up (like many here) listening to hip hop, the Beastie Boys played a central role in my hip hop repertoire. There's lots that can be said about them as a group, and Adam Yauch in particular, but one of the things that I really admired about him was the manner in which he was able to use his platform as an artist to advocate for causes he really believed in. Beyond being a practicing Buddhist, he was a strong advocate for Tibetan freedom, helping to establish the Milarepa Fund which raises awareness for Tibetan Independence. A spokesman for the Dalai Lama said about him: A moment that will always stick out to me was Adam Yauch's acceptance speech in 1998 at the VMAS, when they received the Video Vanguard award. During it, he spoke about racialized attitudes in the US, and the need to resolve conflicts globally through peaceful means, particular with the Middle East and Muslim world. You can view the speech here (see the 6 minute mark onwards): <iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/AZfiKTHairw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe> (if it doesnt embed properly, you can see it at this link) Today, most celebrity figures are decidedly one-dimensional, and contribute little to society beyond senseless tabloid news and twitter notes. In any case, Adam Yauch will certainly be missed for those of us who value artists who transcend their profession and positively affect society.