Saturday, January 18, 2014

Song #475 of 9999 - Shake Your Rump by Beastie Boys

Song #475 of 9999

Title: Shake Your Rump
Artist: Beastie Boys
Year: 1989
Album: Paul's Boutique

In retrospect, it's hard to believe Paul's Boutique was viewed as a sophomore slump for Beastie Boys. A commercial and critical disappointment upon it's release, it has more recently been hailed as groundbreaking and typically appears on all kinds of "Best of" lists. The record finds the B-Boys drifting not too far from their "frat rap" debut in terms of their brattiness ("Like Sam the butcher bringing Alice the meat") but miles away from home in terms of their beats and samples.

Literally miles from home as it turns out. The least amount of research possible (hello Wikipedia!) reveals that the band set up shop in Los Angeles and began writing with the Dust Brothers who had heretofore only worked with rapper Tone-Loc. It was an interesting surprise to learn that many of the backing tracks had already been assembled by the Dust Brothers (who would later go on to produce very successful records by Beck Hansen as well as, er...Hanson!) for an instrumental album, including the sample-rich tapestry that would become "Shake Your Rump."

"Shake Your Rump" finds the Beasties doing what they do best: spouting clever rapid-fire rhyming, dropping pop culture references left and right, and exploiting their rap trio...uh, -ness. That's one of the things I like the most about this track, how they dialogue with one another. But the real innovation here is presenting all those great qualities in such a rich and vibrant setting. The Dust Brothers assembled over a dozen of the coolest samples, including that great funky guitar part from "Tell Me Something Good" and several from Rose Royce's Car Wash, including a kickass bass line from "Yo Yo" and the synth drop from "6 O'Clock DJ." The record almost dares your ears to keep up!


  1. "...Like Fred Flinstone drivin' around with bald feet"

    Pure poetry.

    1. Thanks for introducing me to this song and album. You're the man!