Photo by Charlotte Turner
When I’m having a bad day, or I’m down in the dumps, I have a three-step program guaranteed to cheer myself up. When you’re sad, all you have to do is listen to a few classic songs by the Beastie Boys. They’re the masters of goofy hip-hop, and you’ll feel so much better.
Step One: Listen to (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)
This was the first song I ever heard by the trio, and from the first scream of ‘kick it!’, listening to the track puts a smile on my face. Have the melodramatic issues of teen life ever sounded so monumentous, ridiculous, and awesome all at once? It’s a perfect singalong (or yellalong) track and is just really silly.
And even though the song is a satire of bro culture and party anthems, it also teaches the listener an important lesson: you’ve gotta fight for your right to party.
Step Two: Watch the music video for Sabotage
Although it is very catchy, the song itself isn’t inherently funny. However, the music video is. Directed by Spike Jonze, it’s a parody of 70s-style cop shows, and is truly insane. It’s clear the video cost little to make, and it’s clear the band is having so much fun dressing up with sunglasses and fake mustaches, and climbing up the sides of buildings.
This video just goes to show that sometimes having a blast and throwing obviously fake stunt dummies out of moving cars is more important than production value. And that always cheers me up.
Step Three: Listen to the band’s cover of Bennie and the Jets by Elton John
This live cover of the classic Elton John song is sung by the band’s frequent collaborator Biz Markie, and it is incredible. Why? Because Markie is constantly mumbling the lyrics and sounds like he’s drunk. It perfectly encapsulates the spirit of screaming along to a great song with your friends, not caring if you sound good.
It’s the perfect song to laugh along to, and has even ruined the original for me because it just sounds too normal.
Sometimes, self care is listening to silly music to cheer yourself up, and the Beastie Boys are essential for that situation.