Skip to content

Beastie Boys – Licensed to Ill (1986)

January 12, 2018


2017 Artist of the Week Series logo by Sarca @ caughtmegaming


[Album 588/1001]

When I listen to the Beastie Boys, I enjoy keeping track of:

a) Their similes (comparisons using ‘like’ or ‘as’)

On their debut album, they had a few good ones, including, “that girl is crafty like ice is cold,” and, “like the bun to the burger, like the burger to the bun.”

b) Their namechecks

Though they would reach greater musical heights on later albums (such as Paul’s Boutique & Ill Communication), the frequency of band member namechecks may have peaked on Licensed to Ill.

My findings are below, enjoy!










Verbalize the Positive

Thank you to for providing the lyrics, organized by album no less!

From → 1980s

  1. These guys really killed it during their heyday. The three albums you mention are actually the only three I have by them.

  2. jprobichaud permalink

    Mom, you’re just jealous. It’s the Beastie Boys! Yup.

    • That song actually helps guide my teaching – the line “but the teacher teaches class like you’re some kind of jerk” – I don’t ever want to be that teacher!

      • jprobichaud permalink

        That’s a pretty good rule of thumb. What thumb did teachers ever use before the Beastie Boys, I wonder…

      • or the one that got smacked with a ruler! (The New Style).

      • And I just got glasses recently – so I hope they don’t smash my glasses either!

  3. Wasn’t my favourite of the Beastie Boys albums, but it’s still pretty brilliant. Infectious, ramshackle, fun…

    I do miss the Beastie Boys.

  4. These guys totally crossed over in metal and rap back in 86. So much so I even bought this and the followup Pauls Boutique on cassette!
    Love the breakdown of your graphs Geoff! How the hell do you come up with this stuff? Or do you make your students do it….hahaha
    “If you kids want to pass this year were studying the lyrical raps of the beastie boys and the poetic brilliance that is “She’s Crafty!”

    • I should start delegating the task of graph making to the students!
      In my grade 9 class, we were graphing World Jr. attendance using spreadsheets last week, I should have got their help with the Beastie Boys too 😀
      Cheers Deke!

  5. This scratches my inner geekiness where it itches. Well done.

  6. You are the first person I’ve seen to actually chart the BB’s name checks. Seriously, this is important work! It’s so easy to just sing along and not really pay attention to what they’re doing, but you have provided an important quantification! History will thank you!

    • Haha, my thanks!
      I contemplated a tally of their various ‘white castle’ or food references – but I opted for the namechecks.
      Interesting to note though that they weren’t necessarily name-checking themselves, I think there was a lot of MCA talking about Mike D or that sort of shout-out to fellow group members!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: