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Top 10 Beastie Boys Songs

VO: Shawn
Script written by Tiffany Ezuma. Formed in 1981 in New York City, New York, the Beastie Boys started off as a hardcore punk foursome. But it was only when they made the change to hip hop that the trio we know and love found their biggest success. With their rap rock blend, the three MCs are some of hip hop’s most respected artists. They continue to enjoy fame and popularity today, despite MCA’s death in 2012. For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Beastie Boys songs. Special thanks to our users Kennyangry, hkdbf24, Al Bebak, Justis Garcia, Kyler knox, Alex Guzman and Mattwoott for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Tiffany Ezuma.

They’ve gotta fight for their right to party. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 Beastie Boys songs.

For this list, we’ve chosen our entries based on a combination of the artist’s fan favorites and their most commercially successful songs.

#10: “Paul Revere”
Licensed to Ill (1986)

Presenting an imaginary tale of the Beastie Boys’ first meeting, this track is creative storytelling at its best. After Run-D.M.C.’s Joseph Simmons inspired the song’s first line, the tune grew to become what it is today: a rambling epic of friendship, a horse named Paul Revere, and warm beer. And what a story it is.

#9: “Brass Monkey”
Licensed to Ill (1986)

Based on the name of a cocktail, this song is the perfect party anthem about not doing much of anything but having an amazing time doing it. Sampling a Wild Sugar track, “Brass Monkey” also features a sick drumbeat produced by an 808 machine. In fact, “the song and dance keep us in such a trance” that it reached the Billboard Hot 100’s top fifty in 1987.

#8: “Hey Ladies”
Paul’s Boutique (1989)

A feat in sampling, this song produces a memorable breakdown that’s reminiscent of a ‘70s disco beat. The track’s lyrics may be largely nonsensical, but it still holds the honor of being the first single to reach the top 20 of the Billboard Hot Rap Singles and Modern Rock Tracks chart. Featuring elements of funk and disco, the hip-hop number was accompanied by a music video inspired by “Saturday Night Fever” and blaxploitation movies.

#7: “Shake Your Rump”
Paul’s Boutique (1989)

When it comes to its lyrics and its beat, this song is simply all over the place. The Beasties are known for their use of samples and “Shake Your Rump” is the perfect example: it contains beats from Afrika Bambaataa, Led Zeppelin and Diana Ross and the Supremes, among a slew of others. With production help from the Dust Brothers, the Boys also made sure to match their samples with references as varied as Club Med, Fred Flintstone and The Brady Bunch.

#6: “Sure Shot”
Ill Communication (1994)

Not many rap songs can rely on a flute to tie it together, but then again, the Beastie Boys aren’t like any other rap group out there. The flute may give “Sure Shot” its funk and help bring its listeners in, but it’s the guys’ yelling of the chorus that really stays in our heads. Special thanks goes to their long-time collaborator DJ Hurricane who came up with that chorus while freestyling over the phone.

#5: “No Sleep till Brooklyn”
Licensed to Ill (1986)

Any rapper worth his salt has to have a song about their hometown. The Beastie Boys put their own spin on the hometown jam by choosing to rant about life on the road and their hectic return to New York. Meanwhile, a sample of AC/DC’s “TNT” gives the track a rock ‘n’ roll edge as they scream the song’s refrain. Cementing its rap rock sound are the guitar parts played by Slayer’s Kerry King.

#4: “Intergalactic”
Hello Nasty (1998)

With its techno-heavy beat and multiple samples, this alternative hip-hop track was way different from anything else on the radio in the late ‘90s. With a repetitive chorus that uses a voice that almost resembles a drone, “Intergalactic” creates a bizarre counterbalance to the Boys’ hyperactive rhymes. By far one of their most creative endeavors, the Grammy-winning track also hit the Billboard Hot 100 Top 40.

#3: “(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)”
Licensed to Ill (1986)

The Beastie Boys are known for wanting to have a good time, and this song probably has a lot to do with it. Even though it was written in jest, “Fight for Your Right” has become a quintessential party anthem. One of their best-known singles, the track is also associated with a cameo-filled music video that was later revisited in an MCA short film that followed the events in the original.

#2: “So What’cha Want”
Check Your Head (1992)

Just because the Beastie Boys didn’t start off in the streets, doesn’t mean you should mess with them. With “So What’cha Want,” the hip-hop trio brings their trademark rap swagger and cocksure attitude to the forefront. The Boys relied on their all-over-the-place rhymes, which includes lines like [editor’s note: “well I’m as cool as a cucumber in a bowl of hot sauce,”] to let everyone know just who they were and that they weren’t going anywhere. And it was all we wanted and more.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Make Some Noise” Hot Sauce Committee Part Two (2011)
- “Girls” Licensed to Ill (1986)
- “Get It Together” Ill Communication (1994)
- “Root Down” Ill Communication (1994)
- “Body Movin’” Hello Nasty (1998)

#1: “Sabotage”
Ill Communication (1994)

This song perfectly represents what the Beastie Boys do: by seamlessly merging their rhymes with a heavy rock ‘n’ roll guitar beat, “Sabotage” helped solidify their place in rapcore. The only thing more dope than the actual song is its Spike Jonze-directed music video, which has the band’s members playing actors portraying cops in the style of 1970s police shows.

Do you agree with our list? Which Beastie Boys song is your favorite? For more entertaining Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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