Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique


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A track-by-track sprint through the landmark album’s most important samples.

The Beastie Boys’ Paul’s Boutique was a masterpiece in sampling, and an album that could never be made in the same way again. Created during the golden age of sampling – that is, before stricter copyright laws were enforced – Paul’s Boutique epitomised the times. Alongside 3 Feet High & Rising by De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest’s Low End TheoryPaul’s Boutique marked a change in hip-hop, away from the gangsta rap of N.W.A and towards the D.A.I.S.Y. Age of rap music you could dance to.

At the time of its release Paul’s Boutique was a relative commercial dud for the Beasties, given that the success of Licensed To Ill had taken the trio from middle-class punk kids to rap poster boys overnight. In Licensed To Ill the Beastie Boys came to disturb the peace, at least for the white, middle-American music market Def Jam were looking to break into. They succeeded in that. “I’m real mad at the Beastie Boys, they definitely messed up a lot of things for me,” said LL Cool J in a 1987 interview. But the Licensed To Ill formula was not built to last. You can only play the teenage rebels for so long.


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