The use of musical sampling in the Beastie Boys' "Paul's Boutique" and "The Sounds of Science"

Zachary Diaz, Stephen F. Austin State University

Throughout what is known today as the "Golden Age" of hip-hop (late 1980s to mid- 1990s), the use of musical sampling and remixing was incredibly popular, becoming an art form in and of itself. No other album exemplifies this art form more than the 1989 album, Paul's Boutique, by The Beastie Boys. Produced by prolific DJ's the Dust Brothers, the wide array of samples from different genres of music, use of audio and sound bites from various forms of pop culture, and its effect on the musical form and genre of each track, makes this album one of the most important albums in hip-hop history. Through the use of a wide variety of motifs and riffs from the entire pantheon of popular music, the Beastie Boys' create a collage of sounds and melodies, playing with the conventional hip-hop forms that were popular at the time as well as the genre of hip-hop itself. The sixth track of the album, "The Sounds of Science", exemplifies the use of a multitude of samples from several different genres, and by breaking down the track into three sections and dissecting each sample used, one can observe the relationship between the samples and how the synthesis of said samples create a rich and vibrant genre-bending hip-hop track.