100 Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time

What makes a great hip-hop song?

Load Previous

19. Beastie Boys, "Paul Revere"

Michael "Mike D" Diamond remembers when Adam "MCA" Yauch hit on the squishy beat that propels this crackling single – by running the tape backward. "We were as giddy as kids, yelling in the studio," Diamond says. "It was the simplest idea, and he killed it." One rhyme about a girl and "a Wiffle ball bat" got them in hot water for misogyny. The Beasties would back off from that kind of verse as they matured on records and Yauch turned to Buddhism. But they performed "Paul Revere" right to the end: at Bonnaroo in 2009, Yauch's last show before his death in 2012.

Back to Top