The pair spoke separately to Rolling Stone's David Fricke about Yauch's role in the band and dealing with the illness he would eventually succomb to. Both Q&As are worth full reads, but here are the most interesting and touching bits...
Mike D: "He had this tenacity and faith before he discovered Buddhism. His mom said that was already there. No matter how straight-up nuts an idea was, he had the ability to follow through on things he believed in."
Ad-Rock: "When we met [producer-musician] Mark Nishita, he and Adam would talk all this musical s**t: 'You should go up a fifth here.' I'd be like, 'Tell me where to put my fingers, and I'll play that for four minutes.'"
Ad-Rock: "When the s**t hit the fan, after Licensed to Ill, we started having arguments: 'I wrote 37 percent of this song.' 'These 16 lines are mine.' We decided none of that mattered. From that day on, everything was split three ways."
Mike D: "Yauch was a gifted MC. It was his flow on things, rather than specific lyrics, that first blew Adam [Horovitz] and I away. Early on, we were in the studio, amazed by how Yauch made it seem so effortless. Horovitz and I were maybe a little jealous. And Rick [Rubin] said to me, "No, this is good. This is where Yauch is at. You sound like you're working hard. You're the working rapper." [Laughs]
Ad-Rock: "I don't believe Adam was afraid. Bummed out, yeah. But I can't think when I ever saw him afraid. We got jumped in Brooklyn one time, so we've been afraid in that sense. But, man, he hadn't been afraid in a long time. That gives me peace."
Mike D: "I can see making music. I don't know about a band format. But Yauch would genuinely want us to try whatever crazy thing we wanted but never got around to."