Readers' Poll: The Best Beastie Boys Songs of All Time - Rolling Stone
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Readers’ Poll: The Best Beastie Boys Songs of All Time

Your picks include ‘Sabotage,’ ‘Sure Shot’ and ‘Intergalactic’

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Adam Yauch's death at the age of 47 puts an end to the career of the Beastie Boys, one of the most influential acts in the history of hip-hop and alt-rock. The Beasties' discography encompassed rap, punk, instrumental grooves and everything in between, so it can be hard to choose favorites. Nevertheless, we asked you to name your top picks and made this Top 10 list. Click through to see what you selected.

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10. ‘Get It Together’

The Beasties rarely teamed up with other rappers, but they were joined by A Tribe Called Quest emcee Q-Tip on this classic from 1994's Ill Communication. Q-Tip sounds totally natural trading off lines with the trio, but Ad-Rock steals the show with a gleeful giggle in a verse featuring a robotic James Brown sample and a shout-out to both of his grandmothers.

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9. ‘Shake Your Rump’

"Shake Your Rump" may be built from samples of at least a dozen songs, but it's an unmistakably distinct piece of music that shows off the Beasties' incredible skill for dropping silly party rhymes.

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8. ‘Sure Shot’

On a musical level, "Sure Shot" wasn't a great departure for the Beastie Boys but, on a lyrical level, it announced a philosophical sea change for the group, particularly in the verse where MCA apologizes to women everywhere for disrespectful rhymes on his band's previous records.

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7. ‘Brass Monkey’

"Brass Monkey" boils down the trio's Licensed to Ill-era vibe to its cheerfully obnoxious essence with a blunt 808 beat and one of the catchiest choruses of their career.

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6. ‘Intergalactic’

The Beasties' 1998 comeback hit put a new spin on their style, couching their familiar rhymes and rhythms in a sleek, retro-futuristic electro banger.

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5. ‘No Sleep till Brooklyn’

"No Sleep till Brooklyn" is one of the Beastie Boys' signature hits but, believe it or not, it was actually the sixth single from Licensed to Ill. It's hard to imagine any label sitting on a song so instantly catchy in this day and age.

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4. ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party)’

"Fight for Your Right" is so iconic that it took the Beastie Boys years to convince fans and the media at large that they were more than just beer-guzzling party boys. The song itself is masterful, blending willfully obnoxious rhymes with the blunt force of metal riffs.

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3. ‘So What’cha Want’

"So What'cha Want" announced a change of direction for the Beasties, shifting their sound to a grimier, heavier sound that fit in better with both the grunge and indie rock that was ascendant in the early Nineties and the dirty, raw hip-hop of that moment.

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2. ‘Paul Revere’

"Paul Revere" is a playful, wildly inaccurate telling of the Beasties' origin. The trio eventually apologized for a lot of the violent and misogynistic lyrics in the tune but kept performing versions of it up until the end of their career.

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1. ‘Sabotage’

"Sabotage" is arguably the most successful merger of hip-hop and punk rock aesthetics of all time, with the trio giving equal weight to Ad-Rock's screeched rhymes and the instrumental parts that are both aggressively urgent and undeniably funky. Ad-Rock's screamed "Whhhhhyyyyyyyyyyyy?" in the middle ranks among one of the most thrilling musical moments of the Nineties.

In This Article: Beastie Boys

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