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Production Credits:

Time to Build Click for Lyrics

First Appearance: To the 5 Boroughs LP, 4 June 2004
Written by: Beastie Boys
Performed by: Beastie Boys
Production Notes: Produced by Beastie Boys. Mixed by Supa Engineer "DURO" for No Question Ent./Loreal Inc. Recording engineered by Beastie Boys and Jon Weiner. Turntable Extraordinaire: Mix Master Mike. Recorded and mixed at Oscilloscope Laboratories. Mastered by Chris Athens at Sterling Sound.

Behind the Beats and Lyrics...


  • "Strictly Business" by EPMD from their album Strictly Business (1988)
  • "You Gots to Chill" by EPMD from their album Strictly Business (1988)


  • Baby Davis - Davis Diamond, son of Mike D and wife Tamra Davis
  • SUV - acronym for sport utility vehicle
  • OPEC - acronym for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, a group of organized countries that negotiate with oil companies on matters of oil production, price, and future concession rights
  • Kyoto Treaty - a 1997 agreement drawn up in Kyoto, Japan, for industrialized nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases
  • Tex - nickname for president George W. Bush, who hails from Texas
  • Bush - George Walker Bush (1946- ), the 43rd president of the United States
  • E-pills - Ecstacy pills, a methamphetamine drug used for its euphoric effects

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • "You gots to chill" - a sample from "You Gots to Chill" by EPMD
  • "It takes a second to wreck it" - a sample from "Strictly Business" by EPMD ("It don't take time for me to blow your mind/It takes a second to wreck it because you're dumb and blind")
  • "We've got a president we didn't elect" - refers to the 2000 U.S. presidential election, in which George W. Bush was declared the winner over opponent Al Gore after a controversial recount of the votes in the state of Florida
  • "The Kyoto Treaty he decided to neglect" - refers to George W. Bush's March 2001 announcement that the United States would not sign the Kyoto Treaty, which called for industrialized nations to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases
  • "We need a little shift on over towards the left" - refers to today's extreme "right" point of view (i.e., conservative and reactionary) and the need to shift to "the left," a relatively more liberal, democratic, and socialistic point of view
  • "I think it's due time that we inspect how they get their information and their facts are checked" - Due to mounting evidence collected by government officials on Iraq's possession of "weapons of mass destruction," war was declared on Iraq on March 19, 2003. However, after Iraq was invaded, no hard evidence was found that Iraq had the weapons of mass destruction that the intelligence reports claimed they had.


Beastie Boys

"With all the craziness happening in the world and specifically in New York over the last couple of years while we were making this record, it's almost like we couldn't help but speak on these things that were happening" - Beastie Boys, 2004

"I already thought [Bush] was a jackass but [his response to 9/11] definitely took it to a whole other level, the things he's done since then. I think he's a pretty twisted man...I'm basically thinking about how to get this guy out of there" - Adam Yauch, June 20, 2004


"[A Time to Build is] one of several songs in which [MCA] overtly, colloquially comments on the issues in the world today. To the cynical, the Beasties' we're-all-in-this-together rhymes will probably sound hokey." - MTV News, 2004

"...[an] anti-Bush screed [that] come across as heavy-handed" - Sam Chennault, Houston Press, June 2004

"...turns on a common-sense chorus as true of the Twin Towers (which stand tall in the pen-and ink drawing on the Boroughs cover) as it is to downtown Bagdad: It takes a second to wreck it, it takes time to build." - Tom Moon, Inquirer, June 2004

"[Beastie Boys] are not out to do away with hip-hop's default narcissism; they just want to replace some of its Escalade-driving, champagne-swilling excess with realities that rarely crop up in radio-accessible hip-hop: childhoods cut short by gun violence, the thirsty gas tanks of SUVs 'strung out on OPEC,' the country's bullying foreign policy, the need for 'a little shift on over to the left.' (Memo to John Kerry: Put this one in heavy rotation on the campaign bus.)" - Tom Moon, Inquirer, June 2004

"In 'Time's' verses, the gruff MCA pulls no punches as he assesses the problem: 'We got a president we didn't elect/The Kyoto Treaty [on global warming] he decided to neglect.' Later, Ad-Rock taunts the commander-in-chief: 'Why you hating people that you never met? Didn't your mama teach you 'show some respect?'" - Tom Moon, Inquirer, June 2004

"On [this] track, Yauch asserts, 'We've got a president we didn't elect/The Kyoto treaty he decided to neglect.' It's safe to say many fans won't grasp such a reference (i.e., George W. Bush's rejection of an international environmental agreement he viewed as detrimental to the domestic economy)." - Chuck Klosterman, Spin, July 2004

"...[touches] on weighty subjects like politics" - Associated Press, June 14, 2004

"...takes swipes at President Bush and his war team, suggesting maybe it's time we impeach Tex." - Edna Gundersen, USA Today, June 15, 2004

"There are blunt partisan jabs -- 'We've got a president we didn't elect/The Kyoto Treaty he decided to neglect,' MCA (Adam Yauch) raps -- and endorsements of notions like 'diversity unified whoever you are.'" - New York Times, June 15, 2004

"Tracks like [this] put the trio's sociopolitical agenda front and center" - Billboard, June 15, 2004

"Probably the most powerful song, though, is [this one] when Beastie Boys unleash a cluster of pent-up anger with lyrics such as: 'By the time Bush is done, what will be left?' - Nigel Gould, Belfast Telegraph, June 18, 2004

"MCA is still dropping righteous but trite couplets" - Peter Relic, Cleveland Free Times, June 30, 2004

"[Beastie Boys] take one of several swipes at President Bush on [this] jittery [track]" - Chuck Arnold, July 12, 2004


Released Versions:

Time to Build
Time to Build (Acapella)
Time to Build (Instrumental)
Time to Cheat on Michael (Beastie Boys vs. Franz Ferdinand)


Performed in 3 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
08-Oct-2004 : Patriot Center, Fairfax, VA, United States

Last known Performance:
17-Dec-2004 : Saint Jakobshalle, Basel, Switzerland

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