Slow and Low
Click for Lyrics
First Appearance: Slow And Low 7" 1985
Written by: Joseph Simmons/Darryl McDaniels/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...
- White Castle - a hamburger restaurant chain; also referenced in "The New Style," "Slow Ride," "Girls," and "Hold It Now Hit It"
- The Gong Show - a musical variety/game television show (1976-1980)
- Cheech and Chong - 70's comedic duo of Cheech Marin and Tommy Chong
- PCP - hallucinogenic drug with anesthetic properties, also known as "angel dust"
- LSD - potent synthetic hallucinogenic drug
- COD - postal service acronym for "cash on delivery"
Sample & Reference Breakdown
- "What you see is what you get/And you ain't seen nothing yet" - lyrics are identical to those in "8th Wonder" by The Sugarhill Gang
- "First of all, get off the wall/It's time to party so have a ball" - lyrics are reminiscent of those in "U Know What Time It Is" by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five ("Just get off the wall, let's have a ball/The 70's are gone, it's the 80's y'all")
"...I still think to date is one of our hypest cuts. That one was the first time we'd collaborated with Run-DMC too" -Mike Diamond, July 1994
"That beat [in Slow & Low]? That was Rick's beat." - Mike Diamond, 1995
"I remember being in the studio while [Run-DMC] were recording vocals for one of their songs, and being dumbfounded by how incredible they were. Anyway, when they finished the record and sequenced it they decided to leave off one of our favorite songs. It was called 'Slow and Low.' Later as we were working on Licensed to Ill, we asked them if we could do a cover of it. We made new music but kept most of their lyrics. In fact the only lines we changed were 'D sees real well 'cause he has four eyes' to 'White Castle fries only come in one size,' and 'Run-DMC not Cheech and Chong' to 'Beastie Boys not Cheech and Chong'" - Adam Yauch, 1999
"...a dazzling complex interplay between the three voices, with MCA, Mike D and Adrock taking portions of lines for themselves, hollering in unison on rhyming words, taking the listener off at mad tangents and generally coming across like a cross between Kiss and the Fantastic Five. Content-wise, the track is a glorious mixture of heavy-handed self parody, inverted rap cliches and tales of adolescent beer-guzzling." - excerpted from Rhyming & Stealing: A History of the Beastie Boys by Angus Batey, 1998
"Swinging just like the title says it will, the track pitches a sonic boom of a programmed bassline into a sparse melee of sounds including that most quintessential b-boy staple, cowbells, and a sample of a motor vehicle accelerating away into the distance. A stabbing guitar powerchord is dropped into the mix preceded by a couple of scratch-like sounds, emphasizing the track's hip-hop style at the same time as it presents itself as rock-flavored and more easily accessible." - excerpted from Rhyming & Stealing: A History of the Beastie Boys by Angus Batey, 1998
"We recorded 'Slow and Low,' we was gonna put it on our album. But [Beastie Boys] liked it so much that they wanted to do it. Rick [Rubin] was pressuring us, 'Yo, you gotta let my guys have it.' They put their names in there, their favorite stuff - like where we would say, 'We like McDonald's,' they put in 'We like White Castle.'" - Darryl "DMC" McDaniels, excerpted from The Skills to Pay the Bills by Alan Light, 2005
"Run-DMC gave the Beasties the lyrics for 'Slow and Low,' not the track. We did the musical track the same way as the rest of the album." - Rick Rubin, excerpted from The Skills to Pay the Bills by Alan Light, 2005
Performed in 116 known Concerts.
First known Performance:
02-Jul-1986 : Mecca Arena, Milwaukee, WI, United States
Last known Performance:
04-Nov-2006 : Expocenter Espacio Riesco, Santiago, Chile