Ric Menello is recognized as one of the pioneers of Hip Hop Videography. Menello directed numerous videos for the Beastie Boys in their hay-day, including “No Sleep Til Brooklyn” and Fight for Your Right”. The video director, screen writer and close associate of Def Jam Co-Founder, Rick Ruben, passed away of a heart attack. He was only 60 years old.
In addition to beginning his career directing videos for the Beastie Boys, Menello also directed LL Cool J’s “Going back to Cali” video. He moved into screen writing by co-writing the script for Run DMC’s full length feature film “Tougher Than Leather”
It was just recently that Menello received critical acclaim for his screenplay “Two Lovers” which starred Joquinn Pheonix and Gwyneth Paltrow. Menello also had another screenplay in the works at the time of his death entitled Lowlife.
Menello’s death comes nearly one year after the death of Beastie Boy Adam “MCA” Yauch, who died in May of last year after succumbing to a three year battle with Salivary Gland Cancer.