First Appearance:Too Many Rappers 12" (US Promo) July, 2009 Written by: Beastie Boys, Nasir Jones p/k/a NAS Performed by: Beastie Boys, Nasir Jones p/k/a NAS Production Notes: Published by Brooklyn Dust Music (ASCAP)/Ill Will Music/Universal Music Publishing (BMI). 2009 Capitol Records & Beastie Boys. Manfactured by Capitol Records.
Behind the Beats and Lyrics...
Strawberry Letter 23 - a song by Shuggie Otis that topped the Billboard R&B chart and reached the top five of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1977
Shuggie Otis (1953- ) - an American R&B, soul, rock, blues, and funk singer-songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist
Supersonic - J.J. Fad's 1988 debut album and single
J.J. Fad - a California female rap group
Carte blanche - permission or authority given to somebody to act with freedom or discretion
Vagabond - a vagrant or tramp
Mafioso - a member of the Mafia criminal organization
Bar - a fundamental unit of time in music which a musical work is divided, according to the number of beats
Mojito - a rum-and-mint cocktail
Bandito - an outlaw, especially of Mexican extraction or origin
Matzo balls - a small dumpling made from matzo meal
Troop jacket - outerwear designed by mid-80s hip-hop sportswear line Troop; rapper LL Cool J is probably the most widely known celeb to start the Troop jacket trend
Wolf Blitzer (1948- ) - an American journalist and CNN reporter, currently host of the CNN show The Situation Room
Stax Records - an American record label founded in 1953 that specialized in soul, gospel, funk, jazz, and blues recordings
Hacker - an amateur player who enjoys a sport but lacks skill in it
Circuit bender - one who uses the short-circuiting of electronic devices to create new musical instruments and sound generators
Splenda - a brand name for an artificial sweetener
Mean muggin' - to look at someone up and down in a mean and intimidating way
Blimpie Bluffin - a breakfast sandwich from Blimpie's, an American sub sandwich franchise; also referenced in the lyrics of "Rhyme the Rhyme Well" on To the 5 Boroughs
Broadway - a New York City avenue that runs the full length of Manhattan and continues into the Bronx
Christian Louboutin (1964- ) - a luxury footwear designer, known for his signature shiny, red-lacquered soles
Picasso, Pablo Ruiz y (1881-1973) - Spanish painter widely acknowledged to be the most important artist of the 20th century
Sample & Reference Breakdown
"On and on until the crack of dawn" - similar to MCA's lyrics/sentiments in "Pass the Mic" from Check Your Head ("Well on and on and on and on/I can't stop y'all till the early morn" and "Well I'm on on till the crack of dawn")
"And never die 'cause death is the cousin of sleep" - MCA transposes words from Nas's "N.Y. State of Mind" ("It drops deep as it does in my breath/I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death") Interestingly, the 11th track on the Beastie Boys' LP The Mix Up is "The Cousin of Death."
"Because I'm back with a bang, boogie oogie-oogie" - "Boogie Oogie Oogie" was a popular song released in 1978 by disco/R&B group A Taste of Honey
"Grandpa been rappin' since '83" - in 1983, the then-teenage Beastie Boys released Cooky Puss, their second album but the first to feature rap recordings. "Grandpa" references the Beastie Boys' ages now
"How many rappers must get dissed?" - similar to the lyrics in "How Many MC's..." by Black Moon ("How many MC's must get dissed?"); the lyric also appears in "My Philosophy" by Boogie Down Productions.
"So get your hologram on off of Wolf Blitzer" - On presidential election night 2008, cable news station CNN beamed into its studios 3-dimensional holograms of celebrities to get their reaction and comments about the election results. Among those who were beamed in and interviewed by CNN anchors Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper was Black Eyed Peas musician Will.I.Am.
"I'm broader than Broadway" - Adrock makes the same claim on "Hello Brooklyn" from Paul's Boutique; "Here I Come (Broader Than Broadway)" is the title of a 1985 song by Barrington Levy
"The ever-Herculean wordplay of Nas helps make 'Too Many Rappers' one of the band's most fun singles ever." - James McMahon, NME