Every sample from the Beastie Boys' "Paul's Boutique"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/25/every-sample-from-the-beastie.html


I stumbled on that and other breakdowns of their albums awhile ago.
Amazing and informative stuff.
I wonder if KEXP still has the morning show where they did a complete breakdown of that album available in the archive.




Many people don’t know this, but nearly every sample on this album was cleared for use. (The notable exception being the Beatles’ samples, because they couldn’t afford them and also, “how fucking cool would it be to get sued by the Beatles?”) This was back when clearing samples wasn’t exorbitantly expensive. For such a sample-heavy album, they spent a paltry $250k clearing everything.

After Biz Markie got sued for using uncleared samples and lost, sampling was forever changed. It became prohibitively expensive, all but ensuring an album like Paul’s Boutique can never be made again.

Further reading about Paul’s Boutique:

Also, the definitive resource for the samples used in addition to the many pop culture references in the lyrics:


I’m hearing a lot of Amen sounding breaks. Very tasty. The funk is strong.


I am one of those many who came to ask this question. Thanks for the info and the links.

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Glad you found it interesting.

At the time this album came out, sampling was rampant and largely done without credit or payment to the original artist. I long assumed that the Beasties basically took it to the logical extreme by creating an album where everything, save for any original lyrics, was sampled (ETA illegally, of course). When I found out that not only were most of the samples obtained legally, but at a reasonable cost relative to what was utilized I was very surprised.

I can’t recall any mainstream release like it before or after up until DJ Shadow released Endtroducing… in 1996 (and DJ Shadow basically tried to fly under the radar by using really obscure — or obscured samples).

Greg Gillis (bka Girl Talk) takes sampling to what is likely the biggest extreme possible with his albums. Feed the Animals and All Day are simply masterpieces of sampling. I can’t recommend them highly enough. (I find it amazing that Gillis hasn’t been sued yet.)


I’m just going to admit being deep into loving hip hop, but somehow I’ve always overlooked really going deep onto the Beastie Boys.

I have never heard this album before and I just sat through all 14 minutes of that video and between every other producer I’ve heard over the years and old James Brown and a lot of old funk I cannot believe how many samples were in that that I recognized but I never knew the source.

This is the kind of shit I come to boing boing for. This is how the site used to be, years and years, a decade ago or more, there was stuff like this regularly.

I feel ashamed but inspired to know that three white guys still definitely earned their place in hip hop and I am amazed at how much new good music I found that I’ve heard so many times from samples and never knew who did it.

I think I need to get this album and start taking these guys more seriously even though I know some of them are gone now.


I am pretty sure Girl Talk was at a Pitchfork event I attended a decade or so ago. Long live mashups! Probably my favorite form/use of sampling. Most important of all, Paul’s Boutique is one of those albums which is constantly playing somewhere in my head.


This may help explain and is well worth the read:


I also just want to say I can’t believe Afrika Bambaataa and James Brown got together for an album, that shit is probably wicked AF.

Imma drop this awesome sauce of a video here. I got deep into Japanese hip hop back in 2005- 2009 era when I was mostly living in Itami and Sapporo, chillin in Osaka- a Japanese vid showing the history of American hip hop, and how Japanese traditional drumming joined with it for their version of hip hop. The title is 文化, bunka, meaning culture. Afrika Bambataa is in it- just hearing his name jogged my memory for this


“I have never heard this album before…”

I listened to the Beastie Boys non-stop through HS and college. Licensed to Ill was a great album for a highschool kid, but Paul’s Boutique was a quantum leap forward and had so much layered into it. I can see how if you weren’t the right age when it was released you’d miss it, but it sort of blows my mind that that could happen.


It’s pretty easy to dismiss them. They did quite a few well known novelty songs, and it’s hard to overlook that they were a trio of white upper middle class Jewish kids that crossed over from the punk scene. In the early days of hip hop it was hard to be less cool than that.

Yet against all odds they managed to get respect and accolades from their peers by doing serious hip hop with real love and respect for the genre (and it also helped that they got the rub from other Def Jam labelmates like Run DMC). Up until they disbanded after MCA’s untimely death, they released a bunch of really, really good albums each with its own personality and feel.


As a (pasty white) punk-synth-goth art school nerd back then I always felt like a poseur at hip hop shows but this album, Fear of a Black Planet, and 3 Feet High and Rising were amazing examples of creative plunderphonics. At the time my only instrument was an Emu sampler so these were very inspirational to me even though I leaned more Negativland if you know what I mean. It’s a crying shame this kind of sampling can’t really happen anymore.


I didn’t realize the Beastie Boys sampled Rose Royce. I saw Rose Royce in Santa Cruz a couple years ago, I hope they come back to the beach boardwalk this year.

(unfortunately the band’s website rose-royce.com requires Flash player, which I’m not going to install and cannot endorse)

What a great opportunity to post a link to my favorite Solid Steel episode https://soundcloud.com/ninja-tune/solid-steel-radio-show-31-8-1 where they re-mixed tracks with the original samples!

I absolutely love that album, dark and weird, and I’m still not sure who it is talking in that sample about unpaid parking tickets 20+ years later.


proud to say I contributed a nugget of knowledge to paulsboutique.info!


It shouldn’t ask you to download like that. I have it installed and set to click to enable and I got the install flash banner. That website is hacked and serving malware.


And doing their own thing with it as well. Then doing something completely different with each successive release. While I am going to always be jelly of my younger brother for getting to see them on the first tour I did get to see them at Lollapalooza and they put on an amazing show.


Reddit has a bot that will let you tell it to create a downloadable copy of said video that expires in 24 hours and the bot spits back a link to that download.

like please can we do that. we needs bots