Paul Revere Click for Lyrics
First Appearance: Licensed to Ill LP 1986
Written by: Adam Horovitz/Rick Rubin/Joseph Simmons/Darryl McDaniels
Performed by: Beastie Boys
Production Notes: Produced by Rick Rubin, co-produced by Beastie Boys. Engineered by Steve Ett, mastered by Howie Weinberg. Originally released under Def Jam Recordings, a division of CBS/Columbia Records.
Behind the Beats and Lyrics...
- "I Like Funky Music" by Uncle Louie from the single "I Like Funky Music/Everybody's Got One" (1979)
- Paul Revere (1735-1818) - American Revolutionary patriot and silversmith
- Whiffeball bat - a lightweight plastic bat
Sample & Reference Breakdown
- Main beat - a backwards 808 drum machine
- "Now here's a little story I've got to tell/About three bad brothers you know so well" - lyrics are similar to those in "Stoop Rap" by Double Trouble from the Wild Style soundtrack ("Well, here's a little story that must be told about two cool brothers that were put on hold")
"That backwards 808? If I think right, it was actually Joe, Run, from Run-DMC. It was his idea to flip the tape up. He was there, like, 'Hey, y'all should flip the tape around so that shit's backwards.' Either that, or we had it on backwards and he heard it, he bugged out, and that's when he said, 'Y'all have to do a story rhyme over the shit.' And he came in started writing the shit with us." - Michael Diamond, 1995
"...just plain odd" - excerpted from Rhyming & Stealing: A History of the Beastie Boys by Angus Batey, 1998
"[A] hip-hop outlaw tale" - excerpted from Rock - The Essential Album Guide by Gary Graff and Daniel Durchholz, 1999
"It was Run's idea to turn the beat backwards on 'Paul Revere.' They wanted to have a slow beat, and Run was like, 'To make it outrageous you need to turn the beat backwards and rhyme over that.'" - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, excerpted from The Skills to Pay the Bills by Alan Light, 2005
"I think that the whole concept of trying the drum backwards was a mistake, and then it turned into a record. Everybody was congratulating themselves on how creative they were, but in fact, it was really a mistake." - Russell Simmons, excerpted from The Skills to Pay the Bills by Alan Light, 2005
Performed in 106 known Concerts.
First known Performance:
26-Dec-1986 : Ritz, The, New York, United States
Last known Performance:
12-Jun-2009 : Great Stage Park, Manchester, TN, United States