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Paul's Boutique

Beastie Boys

1989

Paul's Boutique

Album Summary

Paul's Boutique is the second studio album by American hip hop group Beastie Boys, released on July 25, 1989, by Capitol Records. Produced by the Dust Brothers, the album is composed almost entirely from samples, and was recorded over two years at Matt Dike's apartment and the Record Plant in Los Angeles. Paul's Boutique did not match the sales of the group's 1986 debut Licensed to Ill, and was promoted minimally by Capitol. However, it became recognized as the group's breakthrough achievement, with its innovative lyrical and sonic style earning them a position as critical favorites within the hip-hop community. Sometimes described as the "Sgt. Pepper of hip-hop", Paul's Boutique has placed on several lists of the greatest albums of all time, and is viewed by many critics as a landmark album in hip hop.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.51

Votes

6134

Genres

  • Hip Hop
Reviews
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Thu Apr 21 2022
3

IF I WERE TO WRITE A FULL REVIEW IN ALL CAPS, AT FIRST IT MIGHT CATCH YOUR EYE AS YOU SCROLL THROUGH THE LIST. IT'S A COOL EFFECT, ATTENTION-GRABBING, IMPOSING. BUT THEN AFTER A FEW SENTENCES, IT QUICKLY BECOMES TIRESOME. LIKE I'M SHOUTING AT YOU. THAT'S A BIT WHAT LISTENING TO THE BEASTIE BOYS' VOCALS FEELS LIKE. THEY QUICKLY BECOME REPETITIVE AND IRRITATING, WITH LITTLE NUANCE OR DYNAMIC RANGE. IT'S A GOOD JOB, THEN, THAT "PAUL'S BOUTIQUE" HAS SO MUCH GOING ON BEYOND THAT. THERE'S SOME REALLY INNOVATIVE USE OF SAMPLING GOING ON HERE, WITH THE WHOLE BAND SEEMINGLY MINING THEIR PARENT'S RECORD COLLECTIONS FOR INSPIRATION AND COLLAGING IT ALL TOGETHER. IT'S POSSIBLY THE ONLY HIP-HOP BOOMERS COULD ENJOY, BECAUSE THE BEATLES, ZEPPELIN, HENDRIX AND FLOYD ALL MAKE BRIEF APPEARANCES. "EGG-MAN", "THE SOUNDS OF SCIENCE" AND "HEY LADIES" ARE THE BEST TRACKS IN THIS REGARD, WITH WELL ACCOMPLISHED SAMPLING AND A TRULY DANCEABLE ENERGY. HOWEVER, THE SUITE AT THE END FEELS DISJOINTED AND ROUGH, LIKE IT WAS COBBLED TOGETHER FROM SOME OUTTAKES. OVERALL, I ENJOYED HEARING SUCH A LANDMARK ALBUM IN HIP-HOP. BUT JUST LIKE THESE ALL-CAPS, THERE'S ONLY SO MUCH OF IT I COULD TAKE. A little more chopping down and experimenting with different flows and delivery would have done wonders.

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Thu Mar 24 2022
1

Somebody greatly overestimated how long I'd like to hear a bunch of white kids shout brags at me.

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Wed May 05 2021
4

Nestled on my shelf between the Beach Boys and Beatles the Beasties serve up somatic pleasures as intense as anything by either of those groups. Not only do they apply the art of sampling in a rap setting as gleefully and adoringly as the existing non-rap apotheosis in 1989 (Double Dee & Steinski - DJ Shadow still to come) they sublimate themselves into the music as rappers to put it front and centre. Aside from an occasional "I was making records when you were sucking your mother's dick" and "Homeboy throw in the towel/Your girl got dicked by Ricky Powell" they dial back the lyrical happy-slaps and bear down on nonsense raps that lack a clear beg, mid 'n' end because their main function is rhythm not storytelling--propulsive forward motion via constantly evolving narrative. All highly conceptual, so shout out to the album's packaging, which eschews track titles and presents the lyrics in an unpunctuated block on one side of the liner notes and an extensive panoramic of a New York street with not a B Boy in sight on the reverse. Except wait, is that one of them ogling the camera on panel three? Or is it just a random? All of which is to say their mission--accepted and completed--is to melt into a wall of sound whose main purpose is to make you shake your rump-ahhh. Now shake away.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
3

SO. MUCH. SHOUTING. grating vocal delivery aside, the production on this thing and the sampling is just surreal, if feels dirty giving this a 3 but man those vocals, the sampling and beats and all that jazz is a fucking 5 though

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Mon Apr 26 2021
3

I've never been a fan of the Beasties because of their shout-rap, their gaudy party anthems and the fact that white boy DJs at CKCU, who would never think of playing rap, played Licensed to Ill to death. I was therefore pleasantly surprised by this LP, especially the highly entertaining sampling/production. It sounded like it couldn’t be the same guys, and it wasn’t - it was the Dust Brothers. And they still shout.

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Fri Mar 05 2021
1

Good background music. Shite foreground music.

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Sun Jun 06 2021
5

Though I would consider Hip-Hop to be one of my least favorite genres, I believe Paul's Boutique is an absolute gem. Every single track on here is packed with fitting samples, witty lyrics, raunchy and edgy rap, great pacing and extremly catchy bass riffs. Besides "Car Thief", I think every track on here is an absolute staple in this genre, and Paul's Boutique thus deserves a 5/5.

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Sat Feb 13 2021
4

Day 28 of Albums You Must Hear... When Beastie Boys released their debut album, Licensed to Ill in 1986, an album that would go on to sell 10 million copies and become the first rap album to top the Billboard album chart, Rap music had finally began to cross over to a broader audience. Along with Beastie Boys, Def Jam also introduced legendary acts such as LL Cool J, Run-DMC, and Public Enemy. Due to conflict with Def Jam, Beastie Boys would only release one album under the label. When the time came to release their sophomore offering, Beastie Boys had began to lose a bit of their momentum in the eyes of the public, yet expectations were high. Not wanting to be known as a one hit album wonder, Beastie Boys had inspiration to break away from being known as the novelty of “Frat Hip-Hop”. In 1988, no longer having the unique rock inspired production of Def Jam co-founder Rick Ruben, Beastie Boys linked up with production duo, Dust Brothers for their next album Paul’s Boutique. Sampling is as hip-hop as graffiti and break dancing. It’s an art that takes expert timing and next level creativity. Paul’s Boutique is a master class in sampling, maybe only second to De La Soul’s 3 Feet High and Rising. Nearly the entirety of Paul’s Boutique music is all samples, chopped and cut so well that you will miss more than you recognize. There are over 100 songs sampled on this record, 24 on the last track alone. If you listen closely you can hear many clips from a wide variety of artists like, The Beatles, James Brown, Bob Marley, Johnny Cash, Sly and the Family Stone, Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, The Eagles, and that’s just naming a few. The 80’s was the Wild Wild West of sampling before the lawyers and litigation made it an extremely expensive luxury for artists. (Still can’t stream that De La Soul album, largely because of this). While Licensed to Ill is a legendary album and put Beastie Boys on the map, and has more recognizable songs, the depth of Paul’s Boutique is sonically more satisfying to me. I found myself lost in the dense and craftiness of all the sounds that underly the lyrics. I find it difficult to pick my favorite songs because I liked them all so much. What are your favorites from Paul’s Boutique? Please share your thoughts, memories and opinions!!

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Thu Jan 21 2021
2

Love the samples, dislike the lyrics.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
5

The samples alone, good lord. What an album

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Fri Sep 10 2021
5

If you ask them, the Beasties will tell you that Hello Nasty is their best album, which makes sense being that it's their most mature, most diverse showcase of their musical talents. Ask nearly anybody else, though, and they'll direct you here, because it's, you know, their best album. The B Boys are cultural sponges, and both records do a great job of showing that in their own ways, but Mike D, Ad-Rock, and MCA are at their absolute best when they're bouncing off of each other multiple times within a single bar and rattling off left-field references like a musical Family Guy cutaway, and I cannot imagine a better fit for that than what the Dust Brothers pull off in their production work on Paul's Boutique. There's a lot of ground being covered here: Lookin' Down the Barrel of a Gun has a refined (read: less embarrassing) take on Licensed to Ill's metal influence, more than a few tracks are downright funky, and Johnny Ryall even throws in some bluegrass. What all these beats have in common (beyond being dope as shit), however, is the rampant sampling, which builds a scrapbook of sounds that plays perfectly off of the irreverent, reference-laden lyricism. Paul's Boutique embodies the record store scrounging, anything goes spirit of hip-hop, and that it sounds as good as it does is almost a bonus. Key Tracks (B-Boy Bouillabaisse is cheating): High Plains Drifter, 3-Minute Rule, Car Thief

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Tue Aug 03 2021
4

7/10. Had some really fun moments, but an entire album-length session of listening to their voices is a lot.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
3

It was alright, it's not really my kind of music but it kept me entertained throughout. This is the first time I've listened to any music from them and I get their appeal but as I said, it's not really for me.

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Mon Apr 26 2021
3

I guess instruments can be replaced by a mouse. And this was technology 30+ years ago. I didn't get through the entire LP. After 5-Piece Chicken Dinner I figured they couldn't possibly do anything better so double clicked an early demise to Paul's Boutique. (The B-Boys must understand that the mouse giveth and the mouse taketh away.) While I couldn't finish the job, I still think  that this album is a lot of fun. I hate to say this and wouldn't want the word to spread, but I liked it -  kinda - a little bit - sorta - maybe.

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Sat Jan 29 2022
3

Comedy Rap. Not interested.

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Tue Mar 30 2021
2

It says something that my favourite track on this album is a 23 second skit that's basically only samples with 2 lines of vocals. Not exactly my style but a good album nontheless. Apparently it's been very influential in rap/hip-hop world and I can see why.

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Mon Apr 05 2021
2

Ah, so I see where KidRock got his inspiration now. You know, I didn’t hate this, but so many of the songs just sounded the same to me. It didn’t really inspire me. It wasn’t so bad that I couldn’t make it through, but it just really isn’t my thing.

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Fri Feb 19 2021
2

Were the Beastie Boys lame or cool? I can't tell . The internet says they're a rock bank.. what!?

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Thu Jan 14 2021
2

I can easiliy speak in absolute terms for this one: It's the worst album I've ever heard! Having said that I should probably add that I only listen to albums that I immediately like, so I never would have listened to this in the first place. Although I don't like HipHop or Rap in the slightest, I have to at least give them some credit for the quality of some of their sounds (and I'm not talking about their singing). My favorite part of the album is at 25:40 - that intermission at the halfway mark genuinely surprised me and made me laugh, giving me enough mental strength to listen to the rest of this "music".

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Thu Jan 14 2021
2

Overall an entertaining album, definitely overstays it's welcome. The vocals are pretty different from most other music I've listened to but I appreciate the beat on most of the songs. Also some sick Dylan, Hendrix, and Cash references in there.

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Tue Jun 29 2021
2

Probably my least favorite of their albums I have listened to. Some catchy bits but there were a few I outright skipped and nothing was that memorable. Shake your Rump was the only one I saved. And cool album cover, I've never seen a busy New York street corner as an album so very inventive and creative.

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Wed May 05 2021
2

I was under the impression I was really into Beastie Boys so I went in with expectations high. Disappointed with the rhymes, disappointed with the rhythms. This ain’t the hip hop I’m gonna turn to in the future.

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Thu May 27 2021
2

im not enjoying this at allllll. what are they doing.. nice transition into the third track. okay, lyrics are fun sometimes. the psycho song in egg man was fun. high plains drifter: music is great but i cant with their whiny voices. okay im done and the previous sentence applies to the entire album basically. didnt hate it but i wouldnt want to listen to it again.

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Thu Jun 03 2021
2

Man I dont think I liked this one at all. This kinda hip hop not my thing. Funky for sure, just not my funk.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
2

The style of this whole album just wasn't for me. I'm torn between 1 and 2. I was gonna be generous, and actually, I will be, I made it the whole way through

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Wed Nov 24 2021
2

I recognise the Beastie Boys' originality. I'm well aware of them breaking new grounds in so many areas. But I just don't like their music

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Wed Dec 01 2021
2

I like that this project makes you listen to music you wouldn't normally listen to. So I understand that this album is basically constructed from samples which is cool and quite clever. I like to that it's fun and would probably appreciate it at a house party or something of that ilk. I'm not really keen on rap, like don't get me wrong it's ok for a song or two. Would I choose to listen again? Probably not, sorry.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
2

Not for me. having heard Ill Communication back in the day, and hating it, I'll always been told that subsequently they evolved into a serious, more mature and credible act, but hadn't heard anything by them. Just listened to this, better produced yes, but still shouty white boy rap.

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Mon Mar 07 2022
2

Kinda corny and annoying

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Thu Apr 14 2022
2

I think...I think I might hate the Beastie Boys. Well...I hate their music. Which actually is pretty upsetting for me, because they all seem like pretty good dudes, and I wish I liked their stuff.

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Mon Apr 25 2022
2

Better than Ill Communication, but not by much...

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Wed Apr 27 2022
2

Paul’s Boutique by Beastie Boys (1989) I listened carefully to this album from start to finish, and I read through about half the lyrics, and I tried to discern all the one hundred eleven credited samples. It sure seems like these guys are having a good time. The sampling is intricate and wide ranging, with more than a few snippets that are recognizable from other popular recorded music (from Led Zeppelin to Johnny Cash), sometimes entertaining, sometimes distracting, always worth researching. All this is laid down over heavy but un-evolving beats and musical grooves, providing background to the dominant yelling of the three male ‘vocalists’. If it’s not high art, it’s certainly a well developed craft. For those who are in on their party scene, I suppose it’s good fun. But for those like me who aren’t part of that scene, it rather evokes a regret that we weren’t invited. 2/5

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Mon May 09 2022
2

If there was an instrumental version of this album, I'd probably love it. It looks like you can find some of the instrumentals on Youtube. They're great. The Dust Brothers do not disappoint.

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Thu May 19 2022
2

This one was leagues better than the other two Beastie Boys albums we had the misfortune to listen to. Now, leagues better means 2 stars instead of 1 in this case. But I actually listened to the full album while only skipping half of 2-3 songs. That's a really massive improvement over the other two B-Boys albums!

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Mon Jun 28 2021
1

Can’t listen to it - really not a fan

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Fri Jan 29 2021
1

Sounds like a lot of noise, they aren't good at rapping either. Extremely repetitive flow and rhyming scheme. The sound and everything is grating and repetitive. Struggling to even listen to the whole album. Extremely overrated. This stuff is genuinely bad.

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Sun May 16 2021
1

Whiny is the best way to describe this

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Wed Sep 15 2021
1

Quite like the music until they sing

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Tue Dec 21 2021
1

I suffered through it. I tried to see what people like about this. The rhythm, the rhymes. But for me, the voices are annoying, the topics are not interesting, and half the time I was trying to decipher what they actually meant by this phrase or that--usually unproductively, sometimes with regret.

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Fri Mar 11 2022
1

Honestly, don’t know if I can get through this one. Beastie Boys have never really been my thing, or my dad’s (I feel like it’s dad music). I never listened to them growing up, so they don’t elicit any feelings of nostalgia, which I think is the only way I would appreciate this album.

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Thu Apr 14 2022
1

Wow, that was way more irritating than I thought it would be.

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Sat May 21 2022
1

It's just random yelling over shitty beats.

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Tue Jun 14 2022
1

I did not like this. i had to stop it in the middle. i understand the appeal, but absolutely not for me

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Tue Jun 28 2022
1

hated it. honestly one of the worst albums i've ever listened to. some cool samples, but this was like nails on a chalkboard to me

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Certainly pushes the boundaries of hip hop. Worth the listen.

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Sun Apr 11 2021
5

So amazing and under-appreciated

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Fri Jun 11 2021
5

hip hop

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Amazing amalgam of thick beats and the boys at their best. Fave: Three Minute Rule

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Never heard a song on this entire album but I was into it the whole time.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Yes.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

Really enjoyed. BB are a solid group I've been meaning to listen to. Really upbeat and fun listen. Lyrically sound but kinda cheesy, but I think that's the point.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
5

Simply one of the greatest Hip-hop albums ever created.

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Mon Jan 25 2021
5

One of my favorite albums! Best use of sampling; Beasties are pioneers!

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Wed Jan 13 2021
5

Long time Beastie Boy fan - one of my favorite albums...not at first but really embraced it over time.

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Tue Feb 23 2021
5

This whole album is kind of a fever dream but in a good way. Don't think I'd actually heard any of these songs before...but liked them all! Fun to have shorter songs

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Fri Apr 30 2021
5

You know, I said License to Ill was the BBoys at their best, but this may be better. Their sampling game is on point here, and a lot of their most juvenile lyrics have gone away. I'm not sure if this deserves a 5, but I gave License to Ill a 4, and this album is definitely much better than that. SO IT MUST BE.

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Tue Jun 15 2021
5

Yep

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Wed Mar 24 2021
5

One of the greatest hip hop albums of all time? Yep. Best Tracks: Shake Your Rump, Egg Man, Hey Ladies

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Sat Mar 06 2021
5

Been so long since I listened to this as an entire album. It's better than I remember So many memories...

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Wed May 05 2021
5

Absolutely rocked out to this hard.

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Fri May 07 2021
5

A classic!

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Fri May 07 2021
5

Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique Love this album 5 Stars

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Tue Jul 27 2021
5

5 stars. Can you think of a more surprising second album? Licensed to Ill was largely an unserious party rap/rock record that had massive success. This album was an effort to move away from that and to be a bit more serious. That said, this album arrived prior to their later "enlightenment" so it still has some of the things that hadn't aged particularly well in License to Ill. From a production standpoint they got lucky as this album snuck in just prior to the changes in copyright law that would have impacted the heavy sampling. A year or two later and this album could have never happened.

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Thu Aug 05 2021
5

5* for what goes around

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Fri Aug 13 2021
5

I don't listen to Beastie Boys nearly often enough.

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Fri Aug 20 2021
5

5.0 + Foists me back in Brooklyn. I’m rummaging through a mental flea market of strange and oblique cultural references. I’m surrounded by cartoonishly menacing characters but I’m drunk and zonked and clowning with my boys and we’re wilding and we’re one with the whole scene. This album is a non-stop troll party. Too many jokes, stunts and memes to appreciate with one listen. As it happens, this was my fifth full listen and I’m only just starting to make headway. Incredible.

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Sun Aug 29 2021
5

Amazing album. I've always loved it.

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Mon Aug 30 2021
5

I was going to take a star away just because this isn't my favorite Beastie Boys album. However, it has been a while since I've pulled this album from the shelf, and I may have been wrong. This might just by my favorite Beastie Boys album.

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Wed Sep 08 2021
5

I mean. Cmon.

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Fri Sep 10 2021
5

GOAT

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Wed Sep 15 2021
5

Best sample record ever!

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

September 23, 2021 Love this stuff for working!

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Fri Sep 24 2021
5

Had this on cassette back in the day. It's where I really start liking The Beastie Boys. They are transitioning out of their earlier sound into something much more complex. Bursting at the seams with samples. Love the flow of the tracks, almost especially when they suddenly smack up against one another, culminating in the collage-like "B Boy Bouillabaisse." The album moves along at a good clip while covering alot of different moods/sounds, but mostly exuding contagious excitement and fun. Wish more contemporary hip hop had this kind of manic ADD energy.

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Mon Sep 27 2021
5

The Beastie Boys follow up their debut album with a record that goes way harder in an urban, hip-hop sound. With clever, well-crafted lyrics, deeper drum tracks, and the greatest use of sampling for any album ever, this record solidified the rap trio beyond a one-trick pony. Paul's Boutique capitalizes on creating moods and moments rather than just being an in-your-face banger record that its predecessor was, which is why I don't think there are recognizable "hits" to the layman listener. Don't let that fool you from thinking there aren't energetic tracks, some of these tunes have the freshest, most advanced production I think an album could have for the 80's. It feels like the Frankenstein's monster of hip-hop with each B-Boy contributing unique and chaotic writing that translated into something beyond anybody's imagination. It's a record that was simply ahead of its time. The ending "B-Boy Bouillabaisse" suit feels like a fire mixtape within an even fuller album, and anybody that listens to rap or hip-hop that utilizes samples can look to this collection as the influential obelisk. Favorite Songs: Shake Your Rump, The Sounds of Science, Hey Ladies, Shadrach Least Favorite: Egg Man

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Thu Sep 30 2021
5

Already loved it

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Sat Oct 09 2021
5

Hell yeah! You can't go wrong with Beastie Boys

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Tue Oct 19 2021
5

What a masterpiece, I can't believe that I hadn't listened to the whole thing before now. The samples, the production, hot-potato hand-off rhymes, the ridiculous lyrics--you could listen to this for years and not catch everything.

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Wed Nov 17 2021
5

All time favorite. I could write a novel about this band and each of their albums. While not mg favorite of theirs I believe it is their most important work.

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Mon Nov 22 2021
5

Five star classic. Both an incredibly fun album and also an incredibly important album in the history of sampling, hip hop, plunderphonics, intellectual property law, etc.

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Mon Nov 29 2021
5

Perhaps their best album, absolutely brilliant. 5 stars.

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Wed Dec 01 2021
5

The best album the beasties boys and a gateway drug for us ol indie fellas into hip hop and electronica back in the day. The bass on this album is amazing and some of the crunchiest funniest ever. The lyrics absurd from egg man to the Bouille bass skits at the end. Barrel of a gun is a thumping rock track and joyride just glorious. I have listened to this album many times and it never gets old. 'Some static started in the pool hall, hit the motherfuckers face with the que ball!'

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Mon Dec 06 2021
5

LOVE THE BEASTIES! Already high on list of albums I listen to so although was gonna try and be objective it's getting a 5

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Mon Dec 13 2021
5

I don't personally care for the Beastie Boys but this album was fun and the production was superb.

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Mon Dec 20 2021
5

What a banger - so many excellent samples from before when it was too expensive. Loved it

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Tue Dec 21 2021
5

The excellent splicing of samples makes this a glorious listen. Favorites: "Shake Your Rump", "The Sounds Of Science", "Hey Ladies", "Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun"

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Tue Dec 28 2021
5

JOHNNY RYALL!

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Wed Jan 05 2022
5

My most-listened to hip hop album of 2021. I love everything about it. The samples are insanely good. They just kept slapping sample after sample and incorporating them ridiculously well. The lyrics are silly, catchy, and exciting. All the songs are solid. There's a crap ton of diversity in these tracks. One ends and the next is a completely different experience but just as intriguing. Not to mention each track is only a few minutes long... meaning each song gets its shine to appreciate before moving on to the next masterpiece. This is one album I need to listen to from start to finish. One time I heard "Hey Ladies" playing in a music store and I just had to pause. Love the cowbells and the screams so much, without a doubt my favorite pick. If I'm looking for fun hip hop, Beastie Boys is always my first And this album, in particular, engages me every minute. There are segments that I can rock, funk, groove, or dance to. There are parts that always impress me. It's hard for me to dislike much about it.

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

Groundbreaking. Love it!

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Wed Jan 12 2022
5

Outstanding album. I have never fully listened to this one before, and even the songs I wasn't fully familiar with were complete party anthems. What a classic!

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Thu Jan 13 2022
5

9/10 Very amazing. incredible beats and rhymes

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

YAS LOVE

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Wed Jan 19 2022
5

Fantástic

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Thu Feb 03 2022
5

Очень энергичный. Не ожидал, что так понравится

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Mon Feb 07 2022
5

Perfection.

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Tue Feb 22 2022
5

Shit yes. Can't give enough stars

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

One of my favourite albums - good fun to work my way through the list of samples in the wikipedia article

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Sat Mar 12 2022
5

This collaboration between the Beastie Boys and the Dust Brothers is a legendary achievement. I highly recommend the 33 1/3 book about the making of this record. I also recommend you check out a playlist or Youtube video that breaks down all the samples. Best track: Shake Your Rump

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Mon Mar 14 2022
5

Still sounds pretty new and fresh!

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Tue Mar 15 2022
5

Excellent. Good samples

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

I loved this album, every time I felt like it was getting a little stale, they brought a completely new idea out of nowhere. I loved looking at all the different samples. Favorite tracks: Egg Man, The Sounds of Science, Looking Down The Barrel Of A Gun, and Hello Brooklyn

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