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Production Credits:

Jimmy James

Click for Lyrics

First Appearance: Check Your Head LP, 21 April 1992
Written by: Beastie Boys and Mario Caldato
Performed by: Beastie Boys
Production Notes: Recorded at G-Son Studios, Atwater Village, CA. Mastered by Tom Baker at Future Disc.

Behind the Beats and Lyrics...


  • "At Budokhan" by Cheap Trick from the album Cheap Trick at Budokhan (1978)
  • "Happy Birthday" by Jimi Hendrix from the album My Best Friend (1979)
  • "I'm Chief Kamanawanalea" by the Turtles from the album The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands (1968)


  • Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) - American rock guitarist, singer and songwriter, considered one of the best guitarists in rock and roll
  • Bazookas - powerful speakers and sub-woofers

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • "This next one is the first song on our new album" - sample from "At Budokhan" by Cheap Trick


Beastie Boys

"The single version was originally the version on the album, then the Hendrix estate said 'No, you can't use these samples,' which almost completely defeated the song. So we redid it for the album, mastered the album, and about the time it was being released, the Hendrix estate said, 'Know what, you guys can do it.'" - Michael Diamond, July 1994

"One night I sampled this loop off a Hendrix song called 'Birthday.' Then I put that loop on top of a Turtles beat and began cutting all these ill Hendrix sounds over the loops. The next day I went to G-Son, and Mario helped me refine the insanity. Unfortunately, we couldn't clear any of the sounds that were scratched into the song. Determined to keep it on the record, we went back into the studio, found other sounds that were similar and remade the song so that we could keep it on the album. But it never seemed quite right. The song is really a tribute to Hendrix, so taking his guitar sounds off it felt just plain wrong. A few months after Check Your Head came out, the Hendrix estate finally gave us clearance to use the sounds. We then decided to put the 'original version' out on a 12-inch and to do a video for it." - Adam Yauch, 1999


"...beat-dizzy, [Jimmy James] recalls the rappers' former uncaged energy" - People, 1992

"...fuzzadelic bass and great pots-and-pans drum dynamics" - Boston Herald, 1992


Released Versions:

Jimmy James
Jimmy James (Instrumental)
Jimmy James (Live)
Jimmy James (Original Original Version)
Jimmy James (Original Version)
Jimmy James (Single Version)
Jimmy Namaste (Namaste x Jimmy James)


Performed in 51 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
22-May-1992 : Tradewinds, Seabright, NJ, United States

Last known Performance:
26-Sep-2007 : Riveria Theatre, Chicago, IL, United States

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