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Production Credits:

Sure Shot

Click for Lyrics

First Appearance: Ill Communication LP May 31, 1994
Written by: Beastie Boys/Wendell Fite/Mario Caldato
Performed by: Beastie Boys
Production Notes: Produced by Beastie Boys and Mario Caldato, recorded and mixed at G-Son Studios, Atwater Village CA and Tin Pan Alley, New York, NY. Engineered by Mario Caldato and assistant engineer Settly. Sequenced at Bundy's Playhouse, mastered at Futuredisc by Tom Baker. Sure Shot (European B-Boy Mix) and Sure Shot (European B-Boy Mix Clean) remixed by the Prunes at The No Studio Whatsoever Studio; remix engineer: Sjoller, scratches by Peder (1/3 of The Prunes). Sure Shot (Large Professor Remix) and Sure Shot (Large Professor Remix Clean) remixed by The Large Professor for Paul Sea Productions at Greene Street Recording (New York, NY), engineered by Jamey Staub. Sure Shot (Nardone Remix) and Sure Shot (Nardone Remix Clean) produced and remixed by Mike Nardone and Dred Scott, mastered at Futuredisc by Tom Baker

Behind the Beats and Lyrics...


  • "Howlin' for Judy" by Jeremy Steig from the album Legwork (1970)
  • The Funny Sides of Moms Mabley by Moms Mabley (1964)
  • "Rock the House" by Run-DMC from the album King of Rock (1985)


  • Yoo-Hoo - a chocolate-flavored soft drink; also referenced in "Professor Booty"
  • Dr. John (1940- ) - a boogie and blues pianist
  • Lee Dorsey (1924-1986) - a New Orleans R&B musician
  • The Taking of the Pelham 1, 2, 3 - a 1974 subway-hijack film starring Robert Shaw, Hector Elizondo, and Walter Matthau
  • Savoir faire (French) - knowledge of just what to do in any situation
  • Mario - Mario Caldato, Beastie Boys producer
  • Kojak - a 1970's television detective portrayed by Telly Savalas
  • John Woo (1946- ) - a Hong Kong action film director
  • Rod Carew (1945- ) - a Minnesota Twins/California Angels Major League Baseball Hall-of-Famer
  • Hurricane - Wendell Fite, the Beastie Boys DJ
  • Doug E. (1966- ) - rapper Doug E. Fresh
  • Lee Perry (1936- ) - a reggae producer and musician
  • Vaughn Bodé (1941-1975) - a comic strip artist
  • Cheech Wizard - a 1970's underground comic strip by Vaughn Bodé; also referenced in "Sounds of Science"
  • Kid - Adam Horovitz' nickname
  • Ma Bell - Bell Communications, a telephone company; also referenced in "Get It Together" and "Root Down"
  • B-boys, b-girls - breakboys, breakgirls

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • "I'm on like Dr. John, yeah, Mr. Zu Zu" - refers to Dr. John's 1989 album Zu Zu Man
  • "I'm a newlywed, not a divorcee" - Mike Diamond is married to film and video director Tamra Davis
  • "And everything I do is funky like Lee Dorsey" - "Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)" is a track by Lee Dorsey
  • "Never rock the mic with the panty hose" and "I use a bullshit mic that's made out of plastic" - references to the Beastie Boys' conscious choice to use deliberately shoddy microphones when recording
  • "I've got more rhymes than I've got gray hairs, and that's a lot because I've got my share" - a reference to Adam Yauch's gray hair
  • "Ah, yes, indeed, it's fun time" - a sample from The Funny Sides of Moms Mabley by Moms Mabley. This comes from the MC introducing Moms: "Ah, yes, indeed, it's fun time once again at the State Theater, and we have the Queen of comedy"
  • "I listen to wax, I'm not using the CD" - refers to the Beastie Boys' preference for records over compact discs
  • "B-boys, b-girls..." - a sample from "Rock the House" by Run-DMC


Beastie Boys

"That's a special studio-talented dog. He gets a lot of money for sessions like that" - Michael Diamond in 1994, when quizzed about the imitation of a dog saying "I love you" in the opening of "Sure Shot"

"I like this cut a lot. Just straight up hip-hop. Like a lot of our songs, it's arranged like a hardcore song. Mathematical. Intro-verse-chorus-verse-chorus-break-chorus-verse-chorus-end. Nice. The flute line is from the elusive Jeremy Steig. Off the SP1200 it sounds nice." - Adam Horovitz, 1999

"I've got more rhymes than I've got gray hairs, and that's a lot because I've got my share"
"That's my line! I'm just trying to let everyone know how many rhymes I got! That's just representing for myself: I got so many rhymes..." - Adam Yauch, March 1995

"I want to say a little something that's long overdue/the disrespect to women has got to be through/to all the mothers and the sisters and the wives and friends, I want to offer my love and respect to the end"
"There was a time when we would joke around and say things that were disrespectful of women and think that was funny, or that it wouldn't hurt anybody, or that it would be taken with a grain of salt. Then it became clear that that wasn't the case, and we had to go through the process of taking a step back and realizing how those things affect other people. [These lyrics] are just a statement of that. It's just seeing things from a different perspective..." - Adam Yauch, 1997

"You can't, you won't, and you don't stop"
"As usual we would meet at the studio (G-Son with the parquet floor), and make music. This day was not that different. We put the music on tape and started to freestyle over it, writing lyrics down, saving things and what not. It was just missing a chorus. Not that a song is not a song without the usual pop verse-chorus math. But this song needed one. We couldn't come up with anything. So we knew what to do. We called DJ Hurricane cause he's always got something. We woke him up maybe around two a.m. And from bed he came up with the chorus and did it over the phone." - Adam Horovitz, 1999

"You can't, you won't, and you don't stop"
"For 'Sure Shot,' I came up with the whole 'You can't, you won't, you don't stop - Ad-Rock come and rock the sure shot.' I was at home, four in the morning, lying in bed, I get a call from Mike. He said, 'Yo, could you say that hook you said to me the other day?' I was like, 'You want me to do it now?' 'Yeah, we're gonna record you doing it now.' So what you hear on there is me doing it over the phone." - DJ Hurricane


"...the opener, 'Sure Shot' dish[es] out the snarly, clever raps and stripped-down grooves that recall Licensed to Ill and their last album, Check Your Head, which was three years in the making." - Impact, June 1994

"...[Sure Shot states] MCA's growing role as the Beasties' social conscience" - Rolling Stone, 1994

"...knocks a doofy flute sample out of the park..." - Rolling Stone, 1998

"...[a] monster retro-funk turbo-punk screamathon" - NME, 1999

"...features a heartfelt statement of 'love and respect' for 'mothers and sisters'" - The Stranger, 1999


Released Versions:

New York Sure Shot (Beastie Boys Vs DJ Stealth)
Sure Shot
Sure Shot (Acappella)
Sure Shot (Beastie Boys vs. Keith Mansfield)
Sure Shot (Cheap Cologne Remix)
Sure Shot (Clean Version)
Sure Shot (Club Remix)
Sure Shot (Cut Chemist Remix)
Sure Shot (Dee Nastyle Instrumental Mix)
Sure Shot (Dee Nastyle Mix)
Sure Shot (European B-Boy Mix Clean)
Sure Shot (European B-Boy Mix Instrumental)
Sure Shot (European B-Boy Mix)
Sure Shot (Funk-O-Bots Surely Shot Instrumental)
Sure Shot (Funk-O-Bots Surely Shot Vocal)
Sure Shot (Green Mix)
Sure Shot (Instrumental)
Sure Shot (Jerome Robins 5 Boroughs Mix)
Sure Shot (Large Professor Instrumental)
Sure Shot (Large Professor Remix Clean)
Sure Shot (Large Professor Remix)
Sure Shot (Live)
Sure Shot (Mario Mix)
Sure Shot (Mosh Mix)
Sure Shot (MW vs BB Remix)
Sure Shot (Nardone Mix Clean)
Sure Shot (Nardone Mix)
Sure Shot (Portisshot Remix)
Sure Shot (Prunes Mix)
Sure Shot (Remix)
Sure Shot (Taggy Matcher Instrumental Remix)
Sure Shot (Taggy Matcher Remix)


Performed in 271 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
29-Apr-1994 : California State University, Dominguez Hills, CA, United States

Last known Performance:
12-Jun-2009 : Great Stage Park, Manchester, TN, United States

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