No Sleep till Brooklyn

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"No Sleep till Brooklyn"
Single by Beastie Boys
from the album Licensed to Ill
B-side "Posse in Effect"
Released March 1, 1987
Recorded Spring 1986
Length 4:09
Label Def Jam/Columbia Records
Writer(s) Rick Rubin, Michael Diamond, Adam Horovitz, Adam Yauch
Producer(s) Rick Rubin
Beastie Boys singles chronology
"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)"
"No Sleep till Brooklyn"

"No Sleep till Brooklyn" is a song by the New York hip hop group the Beastie Boys, and the sixth single from their debut studio album Licensed to Ill. Among other references to then-popular metal, the title is a play on the Motörhead album No Sleep 'til Hammersmith.[3]

Production and play[edit]

Kerry King, guitarist for Slayer, played the guitar riffs and solo; he had also released an album produced by Rick Rubin in 1986 (Reign in Blood). In a different tuning, the song interprets "T.N.T." by AC/DC.[4] More metal commentary and adaptation is added by the video, directed by Ric Menello,[5] as a parody of glam metal.[6]

Later in their career, the Beastie Boys continued to perform the song live, although with altered lyrics to reflect their more mature attitude towards women. "M.C.A.'s in the back because he's skeezin' with a whore," was changed to "M.C.A.'s in the back with the mahjong board",[7] and "Autographed pictures and classy hoes" was changed to "Autographed pictures to nobody knows."[7]

The song features one of many homages to New York City's boroughs, and has been described as "joyful ranting."[8]

Music video[edit]

The music video for "No Sleep till Brooklyn" was co-directed by Ric Menello and Adam Dubin.[9][10] Menello and Dubin also directed the video for the Beastie Boys' preceding single, "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)".[9][10] Kerry King, who plays guitar on this track, also appears in the video. Ruth Collins known as the "Queen of B Movies" of the 80's is featured as the lead dancer.

In popular culture[edit]

Covers and parodies[edit]


Chart (1987) Peak
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[14] 28
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[15] 22
Netherlands (GfK Dutch Chart)[16] 23
Germany (Media Control Charts)[17] 46
Ireland Irish Singles Chart[18] 17
UK (Official Charts Company)[19] 14


  1. ^ Tim Grierson. "Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch Has Died". Retrieved 2 July 2013.  "As a member of Beastie Boys, Yauch (who recorded under the name MCA) helped pioneer rap-rock with (...) classic tracks like "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)" and "No Sleep Till Brooklyn,""
  2. ^ Ken Tucker. "Rough-rapping Beastie Boys Cut A Path From Cult To Chart". Retrieved 2 July 2013.  "The Beastie Boys also pepper their music with bits of heavy metal and hard rock - the squalling guitar solo on "No Sleep Till Brooklyn," for example, is provided by Kerry King"
  3. ^ Craig Rosen. "Motorhead Between Rock 'N' Hard Place". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2014-10-14. 
  4. ^ - Song Spotlight
  5. ^ Ehrlich, Brenna (23 August 2013). "'No Sleep Till Brooklyn': The Story Behind The Anthem". MTV. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "No Sleep Till Brooklyn by Beastie Boys". Songfacts. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  7. ^ a b Beastie Boys - No Sleep Til Brooklyn (8-9-07 - Brooklyn, NY) on YouTube
  8. ^ No sleep'til Brooklyn. M Forman - American Quarterly, 2002 -
  9. ^ a b Kaufman, Gil (2013-03-04). "Beastie Boys Video Director Ric Menello Dead At 60". Retrieved 2013-03-17. 
  10. ^ a b Hogan, Marc (2013-03-05). "Ric Menello, Beastie Boys Video Director, Dies at 60". Spin Magazine. Retrieved 2013-03-17. 
  11. ^ Boeije, Tom (19 December 2009). "Amerikaanse invloed op Nederhop" (in Dutch). Hiphopleeft. Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  12. ^ Heerma van Voss, Thomas (28 February 2012). "Rappers met een boodschap: 'Ik ben het levende bewijs dat de jeugd deugt'". Vrij Nederland (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 June 2015. 
  13. ^ Consequence of Sound Presents…Best Fest Covers
  14. ^ "No sleep till Brooklyn in Belgian Chart". Ultratop and Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  15. ^ "No sleep till Brooklyn Dutch Top 40 Chart". Ultratop and Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "No sleep till Brooklyn in GfK Dutch Chart". Ultratop and Hung Medien. Retrieved 2 June 2013. 
  17. ^ "Chartverfolgung / Beastie Boys / Single". Retrieved 2011-05-10. 
  18. ^ "No sleep till Brooklyn in Irish Chart". IRMA. Archived from the original on June 3, 2009. Retrieved 2 June 2013.  Only one result when searching "No sleep till Brooklyn"
  19. ^ "1987 Top 40 Official UK Singles Archive - 13th June 1987". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 

External links[edit]