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Top 10 Beastie Boys Music Videos

Here are 10 of the best moments in the Beasties’ MTV careers.

Top 10 Beastie Boys Music Videos

When the Criterion Collection released their DVD collection of Beastie Boys music videos back in 2000, it was one of the earliest significant breaks in the then-pretty-crusty boutique label’s home-video format, raising a few eyebrows. Dreyer, Buñuel, Bergman…and Ad-Rock? Sure, “Sabotage” had already been canonized as one of the greats, the clips from 1998’s Hello Nasty were taken as part of an overall renaissance for the only partially reformed punks, and their alignment with Spike Jonze looked pretty good in the immediate aftermath of Being John Malkovich. But are their videos art? Who cares? At their best, Mike D, MCA, and Ad-Rock’s videos are giddy snatches of raw id, audio-visual counterbalances to their still-flowering lyrical focus on freeing Tibet, atoning for earlier homophobia, and booting George W. Bush from the White House. They must think so too, because in its full version, their clip for “Make Some Noise” (the first single from Hot Sauce Committee Part Two) recruits pretty much everyone in Hollywood to revisit “Fight for Your Right,” a gleefully regressive move that ultimately winds up in a literal pissing match somewhere along Stuyvesant. In that spirit, here are 10 of the best moments in the Beasties’ MTV careers.

10. “Triple Trouble”

Kanye West: “I did not realize there were Sasquatch.” Oh, there are. And if you’re a b-balling deviled/fried egg, don’t even try to front. The hairy paw will slap your game away like a dried up piece of Jimmy Dean sausage.

9. “No Sleep Till Brooklyn”

“Fight for Your Right” works both as an endorsement and a pisstake, and is weakened by its own versatility. With “No Sleep Till Brooklyn,” there can be no doubt as to how the Beasties feel about hair metal’s teased and coiffed version of ‘tude.

8. “Netty’s Girl”

It’s not so much the “How’s your girl, Mike?” It’s not just the response: “Kick, pop, POW!” It’s the reaction it gets from the guy playing keys in the next paddleboat over. If Harmony Korine remade Three Coins in a Fountain, it would go a little something like this.

7. “So What Cha Want”

Of all the videos the Beastie Boys taped, lip-syncing to their lyrics at double speed and then slowing the footage down, this one yields the best performances. Or at least the one where the backing track’s laissez-faire groove seems the closest match.

6. “Body Movin’”

Judged against the monster-movie madness of “Intergalactic,” this riff on oversaturated Italian spy movies is a superior pastiche. Would have ranked even higher if they hadn’t tracked it to the Fatboy Slim remix over the amyl nitrate-laced album version. Like everything Norman Cook touched, it hasn’t aged well.

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