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Production Credits:

Hold It Now Hit It

Click for Lyrics

First Appearance: Licensed to Ill LP 1986
Written by: Beastie Boys/Rick Rubin
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...


  • "The Return of Leroy (Part One)" by Jimmy Castor from the album The Return of Leroy (1984)
  • "Funky Stuff" by Kool & the Gang from the album Wild and Peaceful (1973)
  • "Drop the Bomb" by Trouble Funk from the album Drop the Bomb (1982)
  • "Take Me to the Mardis Gras" by Bob James from the album Two (1975)
  • "Christmas Rappin'" by Kurtis Blow from Kurtis Blow (1980)
  • "La Di Da Di" by Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew from the single "The Show/La-Di-Da-Di" (1985)


  • Def Jam - Beastie Boys record label at the time this song was recorded
  • Thunderbird wine - a cheap American wine; also referenced in "Johnny Ryall"
  • Miller - a popular brand of American beer; also referenced in "Posse in Effect," "Slow Ride," and "Time to Get Ill"
  • White Castle - a hamburger restaurant chain; also referenced in "The New Style," "Slow Ride," and "Girls"
  • O.E. - abbreviation for "Old English," a malt liquor
  • Rice-a-Roni - namebrand of rice
  • Manhattan - a borough of New York City
  • Jerry Lewis - one of Mike D's infamous dance steps
  • Forty Deuce - West 42nd Street between 6th and 8th Avenues in Manhattan, an area that formerly was filled with grindhouses and XXX palaces with live sex shows; also referenced in "The New Style" and "She's Crafty"
  • Monkey - short for "Brass Monkey," an alcoholic drink comprised of rum, vodka, and orange juice
  • Brooklyn - a borough of New York City
  • Ed Norton - a character on the 50's television show The Honeymooners (1953-1956), portrayed by Art Carney
  • Ted Knight (1923-1986) - an actor who is best known for his roles in the television shows The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977) and Too Close for Comfort (1980-1986) and his role as Judge Elihu Smails in the 1980 film Caddyshack, which Beastie Boys reference in "B Boys in the Cut"
  • Mr. Ed - a famous talking horse of the television show Mister Ed (1958-1966); also referenced in "Time to Get Ill"
  • Chef-Boy-Ardee - a trademark chef of canned pasta
  • Moët - a fine champagne; also referenced in "Brass Monkey"

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • "Hold it now" - a sample from "Christmas Rappin'" by Kurtis Blow
  • "Hit it" - a sample from "La Di Da Di" by Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew
  • "Yo, Leroy" - a sample from "The Return of Leroy (Part One)" by Jimmy Castor
  • "Hip-hop, body rockin'- doing the do" - possible references to the old-school raps of The Treacherous Three's "The Body Rock" and Kurtis Blow's "Do the Do"


Beastie Boys

"That was the pivotal [song], because it was [something] everyone knew, but they didn't know the faces. It was kind of cool, because it's rare now - it's even harder - for music to break through without an image, or to be totally faceless." - Mike Diamond, July 1994

"You like men and we like beer"
"I would like to take this opportunity to formally apologize to the entire gay and lesbian community for the shitty and ignorant things we said on our first record. There are no excuses. But time has healed our stupidity. We have learned and sincerely changed since the ‘80s. We hope that you'll accept this long-overdue apology." - Adam Horovitz, in a letter to Time Out New York, December 16, 1999


"...trashed the uptight conventions of punk by opening the genre up to realms of pop sleaze that Sonic Youth never heard of"

"[An] invigorating example of the superior rap music the Beasties could make in their sleep that still sounds fresh today" - excerpted from Rhyming & Stealing: A History of the Beastie Boys by Angus Batey, 1998


Interesting Footnote:

In the 1980's, Beastie Boys faced a copyright-infringement suit over this song for allegedly lifting the words "Yo Leroy" and some drum beats from Jimmy Castor's 1977 single, "The Return of Leroy (Part One)." Chuck Ortner, the lawyer who represented the Beastie Boys label Def Jam Recordings, said that even if the Beastie Boys did sample from Castor, the band was protected in part by the fair-use doctrine of the 1976 Copyright Act, the same doctrine that allows a teacher to photocopy an article for a class.


Released Versions:

Hold It Now, Hit It (Acappella)
Hold It Now, Hit It (Acapulco)
Hold It Now, Hit It (Instrumental)
Hold It Now, Hit It (Johan S Edit)
Hold It Now, Hit It (Johan S Instrumental)
Hold It Now, Hit It (Johan S Remix)
Hold It Now, Hit It (Mash-Up)
Hold It Now, Hit It!
Hold It Now, Hit It! (D'n'B Remix)
Hold It Now, Hit It! (Demo)
Hold It Now, Hit It! (Green Mix)
Hold It Now, Hit It! (Live)
Hold It Now, Hit It! (Single Loop Version)
Hold It Now, Hit It! Come Together (Beastie Boys vs. the Beatles)
Hold It Problems (Beastie Boys Vs Jay-Z)


Performed in 39 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
23-May-1986 : Starz Night Club, Virginia Beach, VA, United States

Last known Performance:
24-Jan-1996 : Todoroki Arena, Kawasaki, Japan

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