Oscilloscope Laboratories founder Adam Yauch passes away

Yauch, member of influential hip-hop trio The Beastie Boys and director of a concert film, basketball documentary and several music videos, has succumbed to cancer at the age of 47.
May 4, 2012

Hip-hop artist and founder of film distribution/production company Oscilloscope Laboratories Adam Yauch has passed away following a battle with cancer. He was 47.

Yauch, a founding member of New York-based rap trio The Beastie Boys, founded Oscilloscope Laboratories originally to distribute a basketball documentary he had helmed, Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot.

The company went on to distribute various critically acclaimed docs, including Exit Through the Gift Shop, If a Tree Falls: The Story of the Earth Liberation Front, Dark Days, The Garden, Dear Zachary, and the LCD Soundsystem concert doc Shut Up and Play the Hits, which has its last screening at Hot Docs tomorrow.

Yauch was also a director of several of his band’s videos, and a Beastie Boys concert doc that used crowdsourced footage, Awesome! I F***in’ Shot That! 

Oscilloscope, which recently acquired North American rights for Mary Mazzio’s doc The Apple Pushers, issued a statement regarding Yauch’s passing, which read: “We are deeply, deeply saddened by the passing of Adam Yauch – an amazing leader, a dear friend and an incredible human being. Today we are heartbroken at Oscilloscope as we take in this awful news and our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.  Adam’s legacy will remain a driving force at Oscilloscope – his indomitable spirit and his great passion for film, people, and hard work – always with a sense of humor and a lot of heart.”

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Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.