Paul Revere (song)

"Paul Revere" is a song by American hip hop group Beastie Boys, released as the third single from their debut album Licensed to Ill (1986). It was written by Adam Horovitz, Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, and Rick Rubin. It was produced by Rick Rubin and the Beastie Boys. The song tells a fictional story of how the Beastie Boys met.

"Paul Revere"
Single by Beastie Boys
from the album Licensed to Ill
ReleasedAugust 13, 1986
RecordedSpring 1986
GenreHardcore hip hop
LabelDef Jam/Columbia
Songwriter(s)Adam Horovitz, Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels, Rick Rubin
Producer(s)Rick Rubin, Beastie Boys
Beastie Boys singles chronology
"Hold It Now, Hit It"
"Paul Revere"
"The New Style"

Adam Horovitz told how the song evolved from an incident when the Beastie Boys were waiting outside a recording studio for Run-D.M.C., when Joseph Simmons ("Run") suddenly came running down the street screaming incoherently. When he reached the Beastie Boys, he said "Here's a little story I got to tell...". After much confusion, Simmons stated "THAT's the song". The band worked on it from there.[1]


Mike D remembered how the group played around with an 808 drum machine during the Ill sessions and Adam Yauch asked what the tracks would sound like if the beats were played backwards. “Run from Run-D.M.C. was there, and he was like, ’Man, this is crazy.’ But Yauch recorded this beat, bounced it to another tape, flipped it around — this is pre-digital sampling — and bounced it back to the multi-track tape,” he said. “The reversed beat basically became ’Paul Revere.’ Yauch saw this thing we couldn't see — and he killed it.”[2]


The song tells a fictional story of how Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA first met. Adrock describes riding through the desert on a horse named Paul Revere, also the name of a horse in the musical Guys and Dolls, while he is on the run from the police. He runs into MCA, who asks him for a drink. When Adrock refuses, MCA pulls a gun on him and says, "You got two choices of what you can do...I can blow you away or you can ride with me." Adrock agrees, saying that he'll go if they can get to the border because "The sheriff's after me for what I did to his daughter".

The two ride to a bar and sit down next to Mike D, who tells them he's planning to rob the place. He then pulls out his guns and shoots them in the air, telling the people in the bar, "Your cash and your jewelry is what I expect!" MCA and Adrock help Mike D escape with the money and jewelry, first causing a distraction and then helping him carry the stolen goods out, along with "Two girlies and a beer that's cold".


Chart (1986) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play[3] 41
U.S. Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs[4] 34


Lyrics from the song are referenced in several rap songs by other artists. Cypress Hill did a cover of the song called "Busted in the Hood" on their album Till Death Do Us Part, with the lyrics changed to be about getting arrested for drug-dealing.[5] The lyrics are also referenced several times in the song "Bad Guys Always Die" on the soundtrack to the film Wild Wild West.[citation needed]

It was covered by Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon[6] as part of their "History of Rap" medley.

A cover was done by Zachariah and the Lobos Riders in a country styling on the album Alcoholiday.[citation needed]

A genre-bending cover was played by swing band The Asylum Street Spankers on their album Mercurial.[citation needed]

The Disco Biscuits debuted their cover of Paul Revere on New Year's Eve 2006 to open the second set.[citation needed] They continued to play it several times throughout 2007 and 2008.[citation needed]

N.W.A liked the song so much that they used to perform it with dirty lyrics early in their career, according to Ice Cube.[7]

It is referenced in "Bad Guys Always Die" from "Wild Wild West" Soundtrack by Eminem and Dr. Dre. Eminem's final line in the song is "I grabbed two girlies and blunt that's rolled", referencing Ad-Rock's final line of "I grabbed two girlies and a beer that's cold"

E40 used the beat to make "Jump my bone" in 1998.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Kaufman, Gil (2012-05-24). "Beastie Boys' Adam Horovitz Talks MCA Death". MTV News.
  3. ^ "Beastie Boys Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-05-10.
  4. ^ "Beastie Boys Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 2011-05-10.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Kung, Michelle (2010-09-30). "Justin Timberlake and Jimmy Fallon's 'History of Rap' Duet: The Full Set List". The Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^

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