5. “Paul Revere”
Every rap group needs an origin story, and this one is a barnburner. With perhaps a minor embellishment or two, the Beasties recall that magical day when they first met—a day of gunplay, robbery and plenty of booze, of course.
Quotable: “I did it like this / I did it like that / I did it with a Wiffle ball bat.”
Just a seismic comeback single. On an album (Hello Nasty) bursting with weird tangents and bugged-out beats, this miniature space odyssey might have been one of the weirdest things on there. But it kicks like a Klingon—especially at Bar Mitzvah parties.
Quotable: “When it comes to beats, I’m a fiend / I like my sugar with coffee and cream.”
3. “Root Down”
Bass for your face. The greatest groove in the Beastie Boys’ library.
Quotable: “The original nasal kid is doing damage!”
2. “Shake Your Rump”
Bam! Right out of the gate, the first proper track on Paul’s Boutique is firing on all cylinders with a huge drum fill. It only gets juicier from there. Which part do you rock hardest to? The funky scratch guitar? The gooey synth bass? The bong hit in the middle? How about all of the above?
Quotable: “Running from the law, the press and the parents / Is your name Michael Diamond? / Naw, mine’s Clarence.”
Even after they became all “mature” or whatever, the Beastie Boys have always been about getting the crowd amped. And nothing in their repertoire gets fist pumping and heads banging like this raw, fuzzed-out slab of aggro-funk. A song so hard, it apparently will inspire no less a badass than James Tiberius Kirk in a few centuries.
BONUS: The Five Greatest Beastie Boys Instrumentals of All Time:
5. “Sneakin’ Out The Hospital”
3. “Groove Holmes”
2. “In 3’s”
1. “Ricky’s Theme”