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Production Credits:

The Maestro Click for Lyrics

First Appearance: Check Your Head LP, 21 April 1992
Written by: Beastie Boys
Performed by: Adam Yauch (bass), Michael Diamond (drums), Adam Horovitz (guitar), Mark Nishita (D6, Clav, Organ, Wurlitzer), Nax Setevassac (vocals)
Production Notes: Engineered by Mario Caldato, produced by Beastie Boys and Mario Caldato. Recorded and mixed at G-Son Studios, Atwater Village, CA. Sequenced at PCP Labs. The Maestro (Live) recorded in Europe, in winter of 1995.

Behind the Beats and Lyrics...


  • Rufus Thomas (1917-2001) - American R&B, funk, and soul singer, and radio DJ
  • Mannix - an American television detective series (1967-1975), starring Mike Connors
  • Barnaby Jones - an American television detective series (1973-1980), starring Buddy Ebsen
  • Columbo - an American television detective series (1971-1978), starring Peter Falk as Lieutenant Columbo; also referenced in "The New Style"
  • America's Most Wanted - an American television program whose purpose is to profile and assist law enforcement in the apprehension of fugitives wanted for various crimes

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • "I feel like Rufus Thomas, the crown prince of dance" - refers to The Crown Prince of Dance album by Rufus Thomas
  • "Yo Paul, this is Allen. You can kiss my ass. I ain't interested in you anyhow. I'm just interested in the B-Boys; so fuck you, my man!" - an alleged answering machine message left by a Cincinatti man named Allen Silvey after calling the phone number for Paul's Boutique (in "Ask For Janice" from Paul's Boutique). Silvey claimed that he was later contacted by the band seeking permission to use it.



"...[an] acidic re-write of hard-core themes" - Boston Herald, 1992

"[An] old-school-flavored track [that] underscores the group's rhyming skills" - Rolling Stone, 1992

Unconfirmed Observation

"... I was just jamming out to it tonight. Paying close attention to the bass and 'guitar' sounds when I noticed that they are exactly the same thing. I realized that they were doing what the Beatles/ Paul McCartney did occasionally. (Listen to 'Think for Yourself' and 'Mean Mr. Mustard') Its actually just one bass performance split to a clean bass sound and a fuzz bass sound. So I looked up “The Maestro” live performances and its just MCA playing what looks like a Fender VI (fenders 6 string bass that looks a lot like a guitar.) The only Guitar in the song is the one second of Wah when the 'Who is the man, who is the man…' at the end. Which might be a sample. In conclusion, It very much seems like its a solo bass performance by the Late Great MCA" - John Smajda


Released Versions:

Maestro's Got to Give (Something's Got to Give x The Maestro)
The Maestro
The Maestro (Instrumental)
The Maestro (Live)


Performed in 94 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
17-May-1992 : Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, United States

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

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