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Production Credits:

Rock Hard Click for Lyrics

First Appearance: Rock Hard/Party's Gettin' Rough/Beastie Groove 12" 1985
Written by: Beastie Boys
Performed by: Beastie Boys
Production Notes: Produced by Rick Rubin and Beastie Boys, mixed by Jay Burzootie, Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin. Original tracks recorded by Mark Kamins, edited by Latin Rascals. Mastered by Herb "Boom Boom" Powers. Originally released by Def Jam Recordings, a division of CBS/Columbia Records.

Behind the Beats and Lyrics...


  • "Back in Black" by AC/DC from the album Back in Black (1980)


  • Manhattan - a borough of New York City
  • Secaucus - a city in New Jersey
  • New York C. - New York City
  • Double R - Rick Rubin

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • Main guitar - a sample from "Back in Black" by AC/DC


Beastie Boys

"A few years back, this guy with shorts on - I think his name was Angus - came by the studio. He heard a guitar riff of mine and liked it." - Adam Horovitz, 1985

"[Rock Hard] was really hard heavy metal with us screaming these raps" - Adam Yauch, 1986

"At the time we were psyched and making [Rock Hard] was very exciting, although pretty embarrassing to look back" - Michael Diamond, 1998


"The track was based around the chords and guitar licks of AC/DC's 'Back in Black'" - The Face, 1987

" inept, idiotic, sniveling, brutish, grating circus-of-fleas backed by AC/DC's 'Back in Black'" - excerpted from Stairway to Hell by Chuck Eddy, 1991

"Though 'Rock Hard' is rudimentary, it could have easily have found a place on [Licensed to Ill] - it's similar in shade and tone and uses rock samples and atmospherics to scintillating effect. There are clues as to how the band viewed themselves that seem pertinent to any discussion of the way they blended genres and attitudes to create their new aesthetic: 'I can play the drums' (Mike D), 'I can play guitar' (MCA), 'Not just b-boys but real rock stars' (Adrock) - an inversion of the actual story, perhaps, but as a joyous thrash attempting to legitimize rap in the face of music business traditionalism it works brilliantly. Lyrically it's every bit as intricate as anything anyone else was doing" - paraphrased from Rhyming & Stealing: A History of the Beastie Boys by Angus Batey, 1998

"...a distinct improvement on the minimalism of 'Cookie Puss', mixing hard hip-hop beats with rough and ready guitar riffs lifted from AC/DC's 'Back in Black' - Record Collector, December 1998


Interesting Footnote:

Due to the use of illegal samples off of "Rock Hard," it was forced to be withdrawn from the market.


Released Versions:

Rock Hard
Rock Hard (Edited Version)


Performed in 1 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
21-May-1985 : St. Paul Civic Center, St. Paul, MN, United States

Last known Performance:
21-May-1985 : St. Paul Civic Center, St. Paul, MN, United States

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