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Production Credits:

The Update Click for Lyrics

First Appearance: Ill Communication LP May 31, 1994
Written by: Beastie Boys/Mario Caldato/Mark Nishita
Performed by: Beastie Boys/Mario Caldato/Mark Nishita
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

Behind the Beats and Lyrics...


  • "Children of the Earth Flames" by John Klemmer from the album Blowin' Gold (1969)


  • King - Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968) - an eloquent black Baptist minister who led the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950's until his assassination in 1968
  • Tibet - an administrative division of China, North of the Himalayas; prior to 1950 a theocracy under the Dalai Lama

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • "Children of the earth!" - a sample from "Children of the Earth Flames" by John Klemmer
  • "Someday I'm going to visit on a free Tibet" - Communist China invaded and took over Tibet in 1950


Beastie Boys

"[It's] just talking about the fact that the planet is becoming one little community where we're all affecting each other. And it's basically a community of very selfish, immature people for the most part who have a lot of powerful modern toys. We're reaching the point where we have the capability to destroy the planet...and all our forests getting cut down and all our water being completely polluted. It's like a crossroads, it's either going to go one direction or the other." - Adam Yauch, July 1994

"[The Update] relates to the current distraught state of Nature, the planet, and my changed perspective on life." - Adam Yauch

"The Chinese invaded and overtook Tibet in 1950, taking complete control in 1959, when the Dalai Lama, the country's spiritual and political leader, fled in exile. Approximately 1.2 million Tibetans have been killed as a direct result of the occupation. They have no freedom of speech or of religion. The Dalai Lama lives in India, where he leads their government in exile in a non-violent struggle for freedom." - Adam Yauch, Winter 1996


"...beneath the murk, [there is] muddled if well-intentioned talk" - Entertainment Weekly, June 1994

"...a decidedly P.C. and spiritual message, one of many on Ill Communication that came courtesy of Yauch" - Impact, July 1994


Released Versions:

The Update
The Update (Clean Version)
The Update (Instrumental)
The Update (Live)


Performed in 3 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
17-Feb-1995 : Stodola Club, Warsaw, Poland

Last known Performance:
25-Aug-1998 : Worcester Centrum, Worcester, MA, United States

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