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Production Credits:


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First Appearance: Paul's Boutique LP, July 1989
Written by: Beastie Boys & Dust Brothers
Performed by: Beastie Boys
Production Notes: Produced by Beastie Boys & Dust Brothers. Recorded at Mario G's, mixed at Record Plant. Engineered by Mario Caldato, assisted by Allen Abrahamson. Originally released on Capitol Records.

Behind the Beats and Lyrics...


  • "Do Your Dance" by Rose Royce from the Car Wash soundtrack (1976)
  • "Loose Booty" by Sly & the Family Stone from the album Small Talk (1974)
  • "Hot and Nasty" by Black Oak Arkansas from the album Black Oak Arkansas (1971)
  • "Never Let 'Em Say" by Ballin' Jack from the album Ballin' Jack (1970)
  • "King Tim III (Personality Jock)" by the Fatback Band from the album XII (1979)
  • "That's the Joint" by Funky Four Plus One from the single "That's the Joint" (1980)
  • "Good to Go" by Trouble Funk from the single "Good to Go/Say What?" (1986)
  • "Funky Drummer" by James Brown from the single "Funky Drummer" (1969)
  • "Sugarhill Groove" by The Sugarhill Gang from the album Sugarhill Gang (1980)


  • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego - biblical characters
  • Putney Swope - a 1969 film written and directed by Robert Downey Sr.
  • Adidas - one of the leading manufacturers of sports apparel
  • Jacoby & Myers - an American law firm
  • Goodyear tires - namebrand automobile tires
  • Atlantic Antic - Brooklyn's oldest street fair
  • Steven - Steven Seagal (1952- ), an actor of action films
  • Rambo - a 1982 action film and the name of the title character, portrayed by Sylvester Stallone; also referenced in "Looking Down the Barrell of a Gun"
  • JD Salinger (1919-2010) - an American novelist and short story writer; author of Catcher in the Rye
  • Charles Dickens (1812-1870) - an English novelist, author of A Christmas Carol
  • The Colonel - Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • Harry S. Truman (1884-1972) - 33rd president of the United States
  • Alfred E. Newman - gap-toothed Mad magazine character
  • Jimmy Swaggart (1935- ) - a televangelist, cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis
  • Jerry Falwell (1933-2007) - a fundametalist preacher
  • Jerry Lee Lewis (1935- ) - a rock musician known for his flamboyant, slamming piano playing and controversial personal life
  • Mario Andretti (1940- ) - an auto racer and four-time USAC-CART national champion
  • Fleetwood - a Cadillac Fleetwood, a full-size luxury car

Sample & Reference Breakdown

  • Intro sample with the bass drum and clapping - a sample from "Do Your Dance" by Rose Royce
  • Main sample is from "Loose Booty" by Sly & the Family Stone
  • Drums and bass samples are from "Hot and Nasty" by Black Oak Arkansas
  • "For those about to rock, we salute you" - refers to an AC/DC song
  • "I was once was lost but now I'm found" - refers to lyrics in the popular hymn "Amazing Grace"
  • "Well, who shall inherit the earth? The meek shall" - refers to the biblical verse "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth" from Matthew 5:5
  • "Jerry Lee Swaggart" and "Jerry Lee Falwell" - nameplay of Jerry Lee Lewis and Jimmy Swaggart, who are cousins
  • "Stealin' from the rich and I'm out robbing banks/Givin' to the poor and I always give thanks" - refers to Robin Hood, who robbed from the rich to give to the poor
  • "Got the girlies in the coop like the Colonel's got the chicken" - refers to Colonel Sanders, founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • "Never gonna let 'em say that I don't love you" - a sample from "Never Let 'Em Say" by Ballin' Jack
  • "We love the hot butter (say what?) the popcorn" - a sample from "King Tim III (Personality Jock)" by the Fatback Band
  • "Being very proud to be an emcee" - a sample from "That's the Joint" by Funky Four Plus One
  • "Say what?" - a sample from "Good to Go" by Trouble Funk
  • Ending drum beat - a sample from "Funky Drummer" by James Brown


Beastie Boys

"One has to admit they [Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego] lived a somewhat hectic life" - Adam Horovitz in 1989, speaking of the trio who refused to worship a golden image and got thrown into a pit of fire, which they seemed to thrive in

"What happened was they didn't get paid by their former record company so they went to Capitol. The story has a good ending." - Adam Yauch, 1989


"In the catchy, Sly Stone-based 'Shadrach,' this would-be terrible trio compares itself to biblical heroes Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego." - Rolling Stone, 1989

"...a tale derived from the Biblical story of Shadach, Meshach and Abednego, the group makes an attempt at a mythologized autobiography" - excerpted from Rhyming & Stealing: A History of the Beastie Boys by Angus Batey, 1998

"...based on the biblical tale of Shadrach, Meshach and Adebnego, who were orderd by King Nebuchanezzar to renounce their faith or be thrown into a fiery pit. When the three were tossed into the flames and continued walking, the King forgave them -- a story that the Beasties were keen to compare to their own situation with Def Jam" - Record Collector, December 1998

"The Beasties have never sounded as slick, sexy and dynamic as on the Bible-quoting blaxplotation funkerama 'Shadrach'" - New Musical Express, 1999


Released Versions:

Shadrach (Abstract Impressionist Version)
Shadrach (Instrumental)
Shadrach (J Rawls Remix)
Shadrach (Joey Chavez Remix)
Shadrach (Live)
Shadrach (Mosh Version)
Shadrach (Mum's The Word Remix)
Shadrach (Peanut Butter Wolf Instrumental Remix)
Shadrach (Peanut Butter Wolf Remix)
Shadrach Interlude


Performed in 33 known Concerts.

First known Performance:
27-Jan-1990 : , Hollywood, CA, United States

Last known Performance:
05-May-1999 : National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham, England

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