Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 102
Sat. May 11, 2013

“Paul Revere”
Beastie Boys


“♫ One
I be/ all by

The song that Gary Graff and Daniel Durchholz, from Rock: The Essential Album Guide, called “[A] Hip Hop outlaw tale” that was “Paul Revere” also described the lyrically mythical tale of formation of how The Beastie Boys came to be. The most remarkable thing about Paul Revere was that this Beastie Boys classic was got help from Run DMC as Darryl “DMC” McDaniel’s explained when he said, “It was Run’s idea to turn the beat backwards on ‘Paul Revere.’ They wanted to have a slow beat, and Run was like, ‘To make it outrageous you need to turn the beat backwards and rhyme over that.” Joseph “Run” Simmons didn’t just help with the sound of “Paul Revere;” it was his idea for the opening rhyme, “Here’s a little story I Got to tell.”

Ironically, the iconic song that was written by Adam Horovitz, Run-DMC and Rick Rubin, was apparently created by a mistake as Russell Simmons described in The Skills to Pay The Bills, “I think that the whole concept of trying the drum backwards was a mistake, and then it turned into a record. Everybody was congratulating themselves on how creative they were, but in fact, it was really a mistake.”

Imagine that, one of the most iconic songs from the Beastie Boys hip hop canon, “Paul Revere,” was created from a mistake. I believe Russell is missing the magical point. Some of the greatest musical moments are discovered from mistakes. I called these sonic discoveries happy accidents. The legacy of the Beastie Boys is waiting for the next trio of rappers to take the mantle from Kid Ad-Rock, MCA and Mike D. Where are this generations Beastie Girls? While we wait for 21st Century Brooklyn rappers to appear, let us honor this classic cut from License to Ill. Cut from a mistake, spin the happy hip hop accident that became the immortal “Paul Revere.”

Who will heed the lessons immortalized on wax by the Beastie Boys? Sometimes by reaching for greatness, your sonic discoveries actually come from brilliant mistakes.