Named after the telephone greeting at PR company Nasty Little Man, Hello Nasty was the Beastie Boys’ stellar follow-up to Ill Communication.
It houses a mix of live instruments, handpicked samples, and serious DJ skills, and it also holds some of the trio’s best lines. We decided to pick out our favorites.
In order of appearance:
“Super Disco Breakin'”
1. “Sometimes I like to brag; sometimes I’m soft spoken. When I’m in Holland, I eat the pannenkoeken.”
And when in Rome, do as the Romans: order Dutch pancakes.
2. “I don’t mean to brag; I don’t mean to boast. But I’m intercontinental when I eat French toast.”
Keeping on the worldly breakfast theme, Adrock revisits the great line from “Super Disco Breakin'” in the song that immediately follows.
3. “Dogs love me ‘cause I’m crazy sniffable. I bet you never knew I got the ill peripheral.”
Rhyming with peripheral is nice, but the first line takes the damn cake. Mike D says it over a baroque harpsichord breakdown sample that is fantastic.
4. “But I find I’m not playing with a full deck. I’m up to my neck like Toulouse-Lautrec.”
Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec was a late 19th Century post-impressionist French artist. He also broke his thighs in his early teenage years and suffered from a disorder that prevented him from growing to much more than five feet tall — hence the brilliance of the “neck” line.
5. “Like a bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape, I’m fine like wine when I start to rap.”
MCA gives more love to France by referencing the famous wine from this southern village.
6. “When it comes to beats, I’m a fiend; I like my sugar with coffee and cream.”
If some is good, more is better.
7. “If my rap’s soup, my beats is stock.”
A beat base for that alphabet soup? Or is Adrock pulling a Lars from Some Kind of Monster and keeping his beats unoriginal?
“Putting Shame in Your Game”
8. “I’m the king of Boggle; there is none higher. I get 11 points off the word quagmire.”
In paying homage to Run DMC, Adrock maintains the original line’s rhyme scheme while earning serious pointage.
9. “Don’t grease my palm with your filthy cash — multinationals spreading like a rash. I might stick around or I might be a fad, but I won’t sell my songs for no TV ad.”
The Beasties aren’t profoundly political in their lyrics, but they are outspoken in interviews and support causes like Tibetan freedom and Live Earth. This is one lyrical reference that packs a punch without getting specific.
10. “I got books with hooks and it looks like rain. Would someone on the Knicks please drive the lane?”
No Beastie Boys album is complete without a reference to New York’s basketball team. There’s no mention of John Starks or Anthony Mason this time around (or a disgusted punk song about Pistons bad boy Bill Laimbeer), but this line does come shortly after dropping Latrell Sprewell’s name.