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list Jan 11 2017 Written by

Top 15 Beastie Boys Songs

Is there anybody out there who does not love the Beastie Boys and their music? With a catalogue so deep and filled with so many quality songs, a lot of them have to be excluded when selecting only 15.

These are OUR 15 favorite Beastie Boys tracks – if you miss YOUR favorites let us know in the comments!

beastie boys

15. Too Many Rappers (2011)

“How many rappers must get dissed / Gimme eight bars, and watch me bless this / I start to reminisce, ooh, when I miss / The real Hip Hop with which I persist…” 

What do you get when the Beastie Boys and legendary emcee Nas join forces? You get a dope track with a message that can’t be repeated enough: “Too many rappers, and there’s still not enough MCs”

14. Professor Booty (1992)

“So many wack emcees, you get the TV bozak / Ain’t even gonna call out your names, cause you’re so wack / And one big oaf, who’s faker than plastic / A dictionary definition of the word spastic…” 

Kind of unique in the Beasties’ catalogue in that Adrock, Mike D and MCA each do one complete verse instead of bouncing their rhymes of each other as they usually do. Take special note of MCA’s verse in which he casually destroys 3rd Bass’ MC Serch.

13. Ch-Check It Out (2004)

“All you Trekkies and TV addicts / Don’t mean to dis, don’t mean to bring static / All you Klingons in the fucking house / Grab your backstreet friend and get loud…” 

Ch-Check It Out is one of the stand-out tracks from the underrated To The 5 Boroughs album. Classic Beastie Boys, it has Adrock, Mike D and MCA trading rhymes in their trademark style.

12. Jimmy James (1992)

“People how you doin’, there’s a new day dawnin’…”

The perfect opening track to the Beasties third album Check Your Head. Loosely intended as a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, this track is all about the instrumental, which is dirty, funky and hard at the same time and 100% infectious. Never gets old.

11. Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun (1989)

“I’m rolling down the hill, snowballing, getting bigger / An explosion in the chamber, the hammer from the trigger / I seen him get stabbed, I watched the blood spill out / He had more cuts than my man Chuck Chillout…” 

The Beastie Boys’ collaboration with producers The Dust Brothers resulted into the creation of one of the most innovative and sample-heavy albums ever. Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun is just one of the brilliant tracks from the 1989 masterpiece Pauls Boutique.

10. So Whatcha Want (1992)

“I’m as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce / You’ve got the rhyme and reason but no cause / So if you’re hot to trot you think you’re slicker than grease / I’ve got news for you crews you’ll be sucking like a leach” 

This track was and still is HARD – you can’t front on that.

9. Sure Shot (1994)

“I want to say a little something that’s long overdue / The disrespect to women has got to be through / To all the mothers and the sisters and the wives and friends / I want to offer my love and respect to the end” 

The Beastie Boys always had the knack for picking the perfect album opener. Sure Shot is no exception and nicely sets the tone for their 1994 classic Ill Communication.

8. Shadrach (1989)

“Steal from the rich and I’m out robbing banks / Give to the poor and I always give thanks / Because I’ve got more stories than J.D.’s got Salinger / I hold the title and you are the challenger…” 

Another winner from what has to be the Beastie Boys’ best album – a high accolade indeed considering the rest of their catalogue is pretty flawless too.

7. The New Style (1986)

“I’m never in training – my voice is not straining / People always biting and I’m sick of complaining / So I went into the locker room during classes / Went into your locker and I smashed your glasses…” 

After a few earlier singles (most notably the banging She’s On It), the Beastie Boys exploded on the scene in 1986 with the all-time classic album “Licensed To Ill“.

Fun, humorous, rebellious, infectious and energetic – to this day it’s a fan favorite and an album you just have to love. This track has the Beasties in top form and is one of the stand-outs, but we could have picked a number of other songs of this album just as easily.

6. Sabotage (1994)

“Listen all y’all, it’s a sabotage…”

That video. Simply brilliant and a perfect companion to this banging track, probably one of the Beastie Boys’ most celebrated in a catalogue full of classics.

5. Intergalactic (1998)

“If you try to knock me, you’ll get mocked / I’ll stir fry you in my wok / Your knees will start shaking and your fingers pop / Like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock” 

This monster track is the first single from the Beastie Boys’ fifth studio album Hello NastyAnother typically brilliant video accompanies one of the Beasties’ biggest hits.

4. Three MCs & One DJ (1998)

“Three MCs and one DJ / We be getting down with no delay / Mix Master Mike, what’cha got to say?” 

A tribute to Mix Master Mike’s DJ skills, truly a beast on the turntables. As usual with Beastie Boys visuals, the 1-shot video is brilliant and captures that old school Hip Hop basement vibe perfectly. Scratching and rhyming – straight up Hip Hop.

3. Shake Your Rump (1989)

“So like a pimp, I’m pimpin’ / I got a boat to eat shrimp in / Nothing wrong with my leg, I’m just B-boy limpin’…” 

Everything that makes Paul’s Boutique so brilliant comes together on this track. The album performed commercially disappointing upon release (people were probably expecting more Fight For Your Right style frat-rap), but Paul’s Boutique would eventually universally be recognized as the creative and innovative masterpiece that it is.

2. Pass The Mic (1992)

“If you can feel what I’m feeling then it’s a musical masterpiece / If you can hear what I’m dealing with then that’s cool at least / What’s running through my mind comes through in my walk / True feelings are shown from the way that I talk…” 

“Let’s rock this joint in the old school way” That line perfectly describes this track, the first single of the Beastie Boys’ third album Check Your Head. Hip Hop perfection.

1. Paul Revere (1986)

“Now here’s a little story I’ve got to tell / About three bad brothers you know so well / It started way back in history / With Ad-Rock, M.C.A. (and me) Mike D” 

The bass-line and reverse beat on this song are just crazy. Co-written by Run DMC and Rick Rubin, the song is a fictional and humorous account of how the Beastie Boys met. Pure genius.

Written by

HHGA founder. Hip Hop historian. Avid reader. Proud dad. Marketing guy. Top 5 Golden Age MCs: Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, KRS One, Chuck D, Nas…

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