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Production Credits:

Tough Guy Click for Lyrics

First Appearance: Ill Communication LP May 31, 1994
Written by: Beastie Boys & Amery Smith
Performed by: Beastie Boys & Amery Smith
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...


  • Bill Laimbeer (1957- ) - a professional basketball player with the Detroit Pistons (1982-1994)
  • The Biz (1965- ) - rapper Biz Markie, a friend of the Beastie Boys
  • The Shaq (1972- ) - Shaquille O'Neil, a professional basketball player with the Boston Celtics; he is one of the largest and heaviest players ever to play in the NBA



"[A] quick cut like 'Tough Guy' harken[s] back to their hardcore punk roots" - Impact, June 1994

"While [this] track has visceral power, [it] ultimately shows the Beasties to be punk classicists, unable to transcend the now reactionary sounding influences of 80's thrash pioneers like Black Flag, Minor Threat and the Germs. Indeed, if the Beasties gave their hardcore the same sonic complexity they give their funk, they would prove truly dangerous" - Rolling Stone, 1994

"...[a] stale punk-influenced song" - Time, 1994

"...trashy thrash about a guy with a bad attitude on the basketball court; typically goofy" - paraphrased from Rhyming & Stealing: A History of the Beastie Boys by Angus Batey, 1998

"...[a] hardcore song [that was a] Beastly answer to alternative rock and acid jazz" - Entertainment Weekly, 1998

"...[a] punkified thrasher" - Boston Herald, August 1998


Released Versions:

Tough Guy
Tough Guy (Clean Version)
Tough Guy (Live)


Performed in 168 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
28-May-1994 : Radio Music Hall, Washington, DC, United States

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

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