To The Five Boroughs
 

2004, Capitol Records
Produced by the Beastie Boys
Annotations: soopageek


Ch-Check It Out
Right Right Now Now
3 The Hard Way
It Takes Time To Build
Rhyme The Rhyme Well
Triple Trouble
Hey Fuck You
Oh Word?
That's It That's All
All Lifestyles
Shazam!
An Open Letter To NYC
Crawlspace
The Brouhaha
We Got The
Now Get Busy [Bonus Track]



Ch-Check It Out

*Oh what you... what are you saying?*

All you trekkies and TV addicts
    Afficianados of the Star Trek franchise are referred to as "trekkies".
Don't mean to diss, don't mean to bring static.
All you Klingons in the fucking house
    Klingons are the resident bad guys in the Star Trek universe.
Grab your backstreet friend and get loud
Blowin' doors off hinges
Grab you with the pincers
And no I didn't retire
I'll snatch you up with the needle-nose pliers
Like Mutual Of Omaha
Got the ill boat you never seen before
    The Mutual of Omaha insurance company sponsored a television show called Wild Kingdom, which aired in prime time from 1963 to 1971 and first-run syndication from 1971 to 1988. It was a wildlife program that travelled to many exotic locations to film animals in their natural habitat.  One of the trademarks of the show, was that of host Marlin Perkins riding on an airboat through a swamp.
Glidin' in the glades
 And like Lorne Green you know I get paid
    Actor Lorne Greene is probably most famous for his role as Ben Cartwright on the long-running television series Bonanza in the 1960's.  The reference to being "paid" like him may be making allusion to the many Alpo dog food commercials he did and the video for this song seems to confirm that.
Like Caprese with the basil
    Insalata Caprese is a traditional Italian salad comprised of tomatoes sandwiched between slices of mozarella cheese and basil leaves.
Not goofy like Darren or Hazel
    Darren was the husband straight-laced husband of Samantha the witch on the 1960's television sitcom Bewitched.
    Hazel was a 1960's television sitcom about a maid.
I'm a mother fucking Nick At Night
With the classics re-running that you know all right.
    The Nickolodeon cable TV station offers programming for children during the day and early evening, but late at night when the kids are in bed, they air re-runs of old television shows, calling it "Nick At Night".
Now remain calm, no alarm 'cause my farm ain't phat
    The Phat Farm clothing company run by Def Jam impresario and occasional Beastie Boys nemesis, Russel Simmons.
So what's up with that?
I've got friends and family that I respect
When I think I'm too good they put me in check
So believe when I say I'm no better than you
Except when I rap so I guess it ain't true
Like that y'all and you just don't stop
Guaranteed to make your body rock.

Ch-check it out
Wh-what's it all about
W-work it out
Let's turn this mother fucking party out

Said "Doc, what's the condition? I'm a man thats on a mission."
Said "Son, you'd better listen, stuck in your ass is an electrician."
Like a scientist
Mmmm when I'm applyin' this
Method of controlling my mind
Like Einstein and The Rappin' Duke combined
    Physicist Albert Einstein: you know, the Theory of Relativity, e=mc2, and whose theoretical work lead ultimately to the nuclear age.  Yeah, him.
    Comdeian Shawn Brown had a hit in 1985 with the novelty song "The Rappin' Duke" in which he did an impression of John Wayne doing a rap song.
Now hey baby bubba now what's the deal? I didn't know you go for that mass appeal
    "Rapper's Delight" by The Sugar Hill Gang (1979). Origial lyric:
        "Rock it out baby bubba to the boogie
         Da bang bang the boogie to the boogie da beat
          I said I cant wait til the end of the week
         When I'm rappin' to the rhythm of a groovy beat"
Some call it Salugi, some hot potato
    Salugi/Saloogi is a slang term which seems to have originated in the New York City borough of Brooklyn.  It's a child's game of keep-away where a kids had is snatched and tossed around among a group.  It's typically not considered a "nice game" as it is a form of picking on particular kids by stealing the hat and not letting him have it back.
I stole your mic but you won't see it later.
'Cause I work magic like a magician
I add up like a mathemetician,
I'm a bank cashier, engineer
I wear cotton but I don't wear sheer

Shazam! and Abracadabra!
    Recalling the theme of a magician from a couple of lines previous, the words Shazam and Abracadabra (also Hocus Pocus) were "magic words" once used by magicians before revealing the wonderous trick or illusion they had achieved.  "Shazam!" also happes to be the name of a song later on the album, obviously.
In the whip I gonna cruise right past ya
    A popular thing to do at roller skating rinks back in the late 1970's and early 1980's was something called "the whip"  It involved people forming a line and holding on to each other.  As the line of skaters made the turn, the tail end of the line would pick up speed and come around faster than the front of the line, much like the way a whip behaves when it is cracked.  A person in the back of the whip would cruise right past the front of the whip.
Yo money, don't chump yourself
Put that shit back on the shelf
Light rays blazin'
You're out of phase and
My crew's amazin'
We're workin' on the record yo so just stay patient.

Ch-check it out
Wh-What's it all about
W-work it out
Let's turn this, turn this party out

Now I go by the name of the King Ad Rock
I don't wear a cup nor a jock.
I bring the shit thats beyond bizarre,
Like Miss Piggy "Who, Moi?"
    A Muppets character created by Jim Henson.  The porcine girlfriend of Kermit the Frog was fond of referring to herself with the French word for "me".  When ducking an accusation, she would coyly inquire "Who, Moi?"
I'm the one with the clientele
You say "Ad Rock you rock so well".
I got class like Pink Champale
   Champale is a line of malt liquor distributed by the Pabst Brewing Co. that comes in 4 flavors: Gold, Dry, Red Berry and Pink.  Essentially, it's meant to be the brewed/malted equivalent of champagne, hence the clever "Champale".  In terms of malt liquor, it's considered classy and suitable for a romantic evening or a nice meal.  Given the general status of malt liquor, one can't help but view the line "class like Pink Champale" with a bit of irony.
MCA grab the mic before the mic goes stale.
Don't test me, they can't arrest me,
I fake right cause I always shoot lefty.
You look upset, yo calm down
You look like Cable Guy dunked off of your crown.
    The Cable Guy directed by Ben Stiller (1996).  In the film, the cable guy, portrayed by Jim Carrey slam dunks a basketball by catapulting off of the head of Jack Black.
I flow like smoke out a chimney, you never been me
You wanna rap but what you're makin' ain't hip hop B
Now get your clothes right out the dryer,
Put the Armor All up on your tire
Sport that fresh attire
    Armor All is a product used on cars for protecting and giving a shine to vinyl, leather and rubber.  It is used most notably on tires to give them that clean, shiny look.
Tonight we goin' out,  set the town on fire.
Set the town ablaze
Gonna stun and amaze
Ready to throw a craze
Make your grandma shake her head and say
*Those were the days*
    sample: from "Those Were The Days" (theme to "All In The Family" television show) performed by Carrol O'Connor and Jean Stapleton.

Right Right Now Now

*Nowww, get busy*

Once upon a time up on this mic
MC's be really workin' on what they write
With the sound delight we rock all night
And yes we're gonna party for the right to fight
    "Party For Your Right To Fight" - Public Enemy (1988).  A pretty obvious play on the Beastie Boys anthem "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)" - (1986).
We're international like Matt Takei
    Tokyo entrepreneuer Nigo, founder of A Bathing Ape clothing was responsible for creating the Beastie Boys action figures around the time of Hello Nasty.  In an interview, Nigo said: "I tried to reproduce Hello Nasty album jacket for the action figures. And about the extraQuasar outfit, I and my friend Matt Takei had helped to find their uniforms in Tokyo whenthey had come to Tokyo for the Quasar tour. And I also helped to make their stickers to arrange the outfit with Beastie Boys' direction. And Beastie Boys gave us their guitars as our friendship."
Rock the mic from Munich out to Taipei
    Munich, Germany and Taipei, Taiwan.
Still around the way is where we'll stay
Say what we mean, mean what we say
Trajectories from the past are taking their toll and
What we do now is future moulding
Columbine bowling, childhood stolen
We need a bit more gun controlling
    Bowling For Columbine (2002) a film by Michael Moore turned a critical and humorous eye to the American obsession with guns.

Right, Right, Now, Now
What is goin' on?
We, We, Gotta, Gotta
Get it goin' on
Be, Be, Fore, Fore
It's Too Far Gone
We gotta work together, it's been too long

When I get on you scream "Hoo Tight!"
Rockin' this flow I could go all night
I'm not here to fight, or incite
I'm like the beach in the Bahamas make you feel alright
    The Bahama Islands are a United States territory off the coast of Florida and a popular, tropical vacation spot.
I'm getting kind of tired of the situation
The U.S. attacking other nations
    Between the release of Hello Nasty and To The 5 Boroughs (6 years), the United States responded to the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001 by instigating two wars, one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq.
And narrations, on every station
False election's got me losing my patience
Referring to the 2000 U.S. presidential election in which many feel that President Bush falsley won over opponent Al Gore after the controversial recount process in the state of Florida, governed by Geroge W. Bush's brother Jeb Bush.
I'm a funky-ass Jew and I'm on my way
And yes I got to say fuck the KKK
    American white supremacy group the Klu Klux Klan.
And oh yeah hey, how about today?
If you want to set it off then let me hear you say

Right, Right, Now, Now
What is goin' on?
We, We, Gotta, Gotta
Get it goin' on
Be, Be, Fore, Fore
It's Too Far Gone
We gotta work together, it's been too long

I went to get a loan and they asked my race
I wrote down human inside the space
It's a disgrace how they try to debase
It ain't the bank's damn business how my lineage trace
Now let me drop a verse that's terse and concise
I'm an iron chef when I slice and dice
    Iron Chef is a Japanese culinary show that has gained a worldwide cult following (it airs on the Food Network cable channel).  According to one reviewer: "A mix between Godzilla, wrestling, and Julia Child. Yes, it’s that strange. And that entertaining." (Miama Herald)
With the rhyme precise, the word is nice
So please pass me the Reunite on ice
    Reunite brand wine is a cheap, all-purpose wine.  During the 1980's, one of its popular advertising slogans was "Reunite on ice... That's nice!"
Well let's go to work and not beserk
'Cause when the time comes the body goes to dirt
Try to smooth it out like Levert
    Levert is an R&B group founded by Gerald Levert, known for its smooth sound.  Specifically this may be a reference to a song by LSG (Levert.Sweat.Gill) called "Curious" (1997) on which guest rapper LL Cool J speaks the following line while spelling out the song's title:
    'U' are amazing, there's no doubt
    Top it off with a 'S' cause you smooth me out"
I keep the mind alert and not revert

Right, Right, Now, Now
What is goin' on?
We, We, Gotta, Gotta
Get it goin' on
Be, Be, Fore, Fore
It's Too Far Gone
We gotta work together, it's been too long

3 The Hard Way

Fresh dressed 'cause I shop at Modell's
    Opening it's first location on Cortlandt St. in lower Manhattan in 1889, Modell's is the oldest, family-owned sporting-goods store in the United States with over 100 locations on the Atlantic seaboard.
Deep in Brooklyn and I rode the els
    The subways in New York City become elevated trains (els) the further they get into the boroughs surrounding Manhattan.
Used to ride the D to beat the morning bell
    The "D" line of the New York City subway system connects Brooklyn with Manhattan and the Bronx.
At Edward R. Morrow out on Avenue L
    Edward R. Morrow High School (located on Avenue L in Brooklyn, New York) named for one of America's most prominent 20th century journalists.
Now, we be grillin' cheese and flippin' flapjacks
With the diamond stylus, yo we cutting wax
    The stylus is the part of a record player which travels the groove of a vinyl record.  A stylus made of diamond, is supposed to produce the best sound.
We're the super elastic bubble plastic
    Super Elastic Bubble Plastic was produced by Whamo through the 1960s and 70s for children.  It was a tube of plastic that was squeezed onto the end of a straw, which blowing through would produce hard plastic bubbles.
Got ethereal material that's straight up classic
You try to vex, reject but you should respect
Or we'll have JC send you out a FedEx
    Federal Express is a commercial freight company based in Memphis, Tennessee.  FedEx has become synonymous with "over-night shipping".
So don't start to flex up in the discotheque
Or we'll make you extinct tyrannosaurus rex
    The Tyrannousaurus Rex was considered to be the king of the dinosaurs.

*We're gonna rock this motherfucker like three the hard way *
    sample: from an untitled track on Radio by LL Cool J (1985) that seperated the first and second sides of the record.  Over the years this track has come to be known as "Three The Hard Way" or the "El Shabazz skit"; it's nothing more than LL and El Shabazz free-styling in the studio. This line, as well as another line from that track ("Is it live?") are two of the most sampled sounds in hip-hop, including NWA and Run DMC, just to name a couple.
    Three The Hard Way was a black exploitation film released in 1974 directed by Gordon Parks, Jr.  The three in question were blaxploitation mainstays Fred Williamson, Jim Kelly, and Jim Brown.

Your rhyme technique, it is antique
To all my heads Qu'est-ce-que tu fabriques?
    French translation: "What do you make?"
Que cosa fai? Como esta?
Ho fato molte telefonate
    Italian translation: "I made a lot of telephone calls."
I said, oops gotcha clutch like Piazza
    Catcher Mike Piazza of the New York Mets baseball team, has a reputation for being a "clutch player" who can be counted on for a big play.
Sneak between the sheets so hide the matzoh
    Matzoh is an unleavened bread eaten by people of Jewish faith specifically during Passover (Pesach).  When the Jewish people left Egypt (the Exodus), they were in such a hurry they didn't have time to let their bread rise so they baked it flat. In fact, during Passover, all leavened foods are removed from the home. Matzoh is a universal symbol of this holiday and prescribed by scripture in Exodus 12 to be eaten during the seder meal on the day of Passover.  The seder (meaning order/organization) is a highly ritualized meal, one part of which, involves three sheets of matzoh.  The center sheet is broken in half and the largest of the two pieces (the Afikomen) is tradtionally placed in napkins ("between the sheets") and hidden somewhere in the house ("hide like matzoh") for the children to find, with a prize going to the lucky child who discovers it.
Holler back challah bread... next
    Challah is a very very rich bread also known as "egg bread" and eaten on the Sabbath and other Jewish holidays (except Passover).  It takes it's name from "challa": a small, gumball sized piece of dough seperated from the rest of the dough before baking.  The challa is baked and then burned, symbolizing the destruction of the Temple and then thrown away after a special prayer is said.
We are the crew who put the crew in Cruex
    Cruex is a brand of anti-fungal medicine used in treating, among other things, jock itch.
I can see that Def Jam doesn't recognize me
I'm Mike D the one who put the satin in your panties
    The Def Jam label, managed by Russel Simmons, released the first Beastie Boys album, Licensed To Ill.  Arguably, the Def Jam media empire was largely built on the revenue generated from that album ("the one who put the satin in your panties").
Time to count MC's in this place to be
Not five, not four, not two, just three

*We're gonna rock this motherfucker like three the hard way *
*1.. 2.. 3,  3.. 2.. 1.. what up*

Round-house kick the mic out your hand
Drunken mantis, my name brand
    Refers to a style of Kung Fu.  Seven Star Praying Mantis style was frist conceived in the 17th century by Wang Lang and incorporated revolutionary footwork techniques.  A later style, known as Tai Chi Praying Mantis evolved out of this and has a variety of impressive kicking moves (including the round-house) in its repretoire.  "Drunken" style martial arts refers to incorporating erratic, off-kilter movement and often low-to-the-ground maneuvering and is applied to many styles, however, of the two Praying Mantis styles, it is peculiar only to Tai Chi.
So if you're slick with the tricks and your slight of hand
I'm hip to the shit that you're trying to scam
Gnip gnop I got shit to pop
    Gnip Gnop is a table top game from Parker Brothers where two players use levers to move balls back and forth insdie a small plastic case.  The name is Ping Pong spelled backwards.
I'm an exceptional professional that just don't stop
So pack up your bag and your mic and don't wait
E.T. phone home now get the fuck out my face
    In E.T. (Steven Spielberg) the learns the phrase "phone home" and uses it repeatedly throughout the film.
You know we shake'em bake'em then we take'em
Treat MCs like leaves go out and rake'em
If you sell our CDs on Canal before we make'em
    In Chinatown, in Manhattan's lower east side, street vendors sell bootleg CD's and DVD's of recently released albums and movies all up and down Canal Street.
Serve you on a platter like Steak'Em
    As I recall, Steak'Em was a steak sandwich you could buy in the freezer section of the grocery store then heat-up at home.  I can't seem to find any information on it though, so I'm assuming they are no longer manufactured.  As a matter of coincidence (I doubt it is intentional, but who's to say) there is a Jagged Edge lyric which is very similar to this:
    "They Ain't JE Lyrics" - Jagged Edge original lyric:
            "The ones that like to cake em and shake em bake em then break em
            They start violatin freeze em just like a steak-em"

*We're gonna rock this motherfucker like three the hard way*

It Takes Time To Build

If you don't like the news then press eject
Baby Davis getting older can't take a rain check
    Most likely a reference to the child Mike D has with wife Tamra Davis.
It's time to let'em know what we expect
Stop building SUV's strung out on OPEC
    Sport utility vehicles (SUV's), while massively popular in the United States, are not very fuel efficient automobiles, amking the U.S. dependent (strung out) on OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) which is largely comprised of and controlled by Middle Eastern countries.  At the time of this album, the United States was embroiled in a military conflict in the Middle East country of Iraq.
Hold up wait up you know we come correct
You wanna change things up, well hey then get set
It's easier to sit back than stick out your neck
It's easier to break things than build it correct
We've got a president we didn't elect
    Yet another reference to the controversial 2000 presidential race. [see previous notation]
The Kyoto treaty he decided to neglect
    In 1997, leaders from 54 nations, including the United States, met in Kyoto, Japan and signed an accord pledging to reduce (by as much as 5% over 1990 levels) certain pollutants contributing to global warming.  A treaty was drafted outlining the paramters of this agreement and in 2001, President Bush refused to sign the treaty.  Without getting too political, the editor would like to further note that the U.S. Senate, in a bi-partisan, unanimous vote of 95-0, also rejected this treaty.
And still the U.S. just wants to flex
Keep doin' that wop we gonna break our necks
    Play on the term "doo wop" a type of rock-n-roll popular in the 1950's and 1960's featuring harmonized, non-sensical lyrics.  If you've ever heard the group Sha-Na-Na; that's doo-wop.

*It takes a second to wreck it*
It takes time to build
*You gots to chill*
    samples (both):  "Strictly Business"  by EPMD (1988).

Hate filled people wanna keep us in check
Tearin' down each other is what they expect
If you want love well hey that's a bet
We've got to give before we can get
Waiting like a batter who is on deck
    In baseball, two batters are on the field; one is "at the plate" (currently batting) and one is "on deck" (next to bat).
When it's time to wreck shop then shop I'll wreck
So let's calibrate and check our specs
We need a little shift on over to the left
I don't really know but I suspect
I think it's due time that we inspect
How they get their information and their facts are checked
Another press conference someone's talking out their neck

*It takes a second to wreck it*
It takes time to build
*You gots to chill*
    samples (both):  "Strictly Business"  by EPMD (1988).

So step up to the window and place your bets
Is the U.S. gonna keep breaking necks
Maybe it's time that we impeach Tex
    President George W. Bush is from the state of Texas.
And the military muscle that he wants to flex
By the time Bush is done what will be left
    U.S. President George W. Bush.
Selling votes like E-pills at the discotheque
    "E-pills" refers to the popular dance club drug Methylene Dioxyethamphetamine (MDMA).  Also known as "Ecstasy", "XTC", "X" or "E".
Environmental destruction and the national debt
But plenty of dollars left in the fat war chest
Now, what the real deal why you can't connect?
Why you hating people that you never met?
Didn't your mama teach you to show some respect?
Why not open your mind for a sec?

*It takes a second to wreck it*
It takes time to build
*You gots to chill*
    samples (both):  "Strictly Business"  by EPMD (1988).

*The idea is to keep the green alien landing craft from taking the humans from the ground and changing them into mutants.  A mutant is very dangerous to you because he flies faster than you and he shoots at you.*

Rhyme The Rhyme Well

Now my name is Adrock I've got a story to tell
When I rock the crowd the crowd we all yell
And when I get the feeling I feel the feel swell
And when I start to rhyme well I rhyme the rhyme well
*Well*

Oh you didn't know I got the flow
I could sing, rap, dance in just one show
With the cornbread stuffin' with the Blimpie Bluffin
    The Blimpie chain of sub-sandwich shops has a line of breakfast sandwiches served on English muffins.  They call them them Bluffins.
Mother fuckin' Yosi with the goddamn muffins
    Yosi is a somewhat common, male Jewish name.  Most likely this is a reference to a Jewish bakery in NYC, but I haven't found any specific instances.
Hey could you please pass me the peas
And let me get a tissue if you think your're gonna sneeze
I'm the player and the coach I'm no roach
I bought my grandma a brand new broach

Well I'm MCA with a story to tell
When I rock the crowd I rock the crowd well
*Well*
And when I get the feeling I feel the feel swell
'Cause when I start to rhyme well I rhyme the rhyme well
*Well*

'Cause I'm a craftsman, who ain't fastin'
I'll take you to task everyone of ya'll draftsman
I'm rehashin' and ain't maskin'
Bringin' the beat back and keepin' it lastin'
Keepin' it top notch, beyond passing
Simmer in the pan 'cause, I ain't a'flashin'
    "Flash in the pan" is an American cliche for something that becomes popular very quickly and its popularity is very brief, then forgotten about.  It is used almost exclusively when referring to people in the entertainment business.  Something which simmers in a pan is cooked
I'm party crashin' so you better batten
Down those hatches stop procrastin

Well I'm Mike D with a story to tell
And when I rock the crowd the crowd we all yell
And when I get the feeling I feel the feel swell
'Cause when I start to rhyme well I rhyme the rhyme well
*Well*

Went to the top and never went pop and
Came back down but still not stopping
I'm not even asking, "Yo what's cracking?"
Serving MC's on a platter like a baked Alaskan
    A Baked Alaska is a desert that involves ice cream, brownie and meringue.  And yes, oddly enough, there is a step in the process where the ice cream is baked.
So start packing because I'm back in
The game of hiphop representing Manhattan
    Manhattan, one of New York City's five boroughs.
Now push the pause button then start ducking
Shhhhh you heard me like I'm E.F. Hutton
    Defunct brokering firm E.F Hutton ran a series of television commericals in the 1980's where one person would be talking to another in a crowded, public situation with lots of noise and commotion.  The person, rambling on about their stock portfolios and investments would eventually say, ""My broker is E.F. Hutton and E.F. Hutton says..".  At that moment, everyone in the scene would stop what they were doing (traffic would stop, babies would stop crying, etc) and there would be complete silence, presumably to hear what E.F. Hutton has to say about stock tips.  Their company slogan for that ad campaign was "When E.F Hutton talks, people listen."
E.F.... Shhhhh *Well*
Hutton, shhhhh *Well*

*And I was trying on the Bat Girl costume.  What's wrong with that?  Now now,  I was the Catwoman...*

*Hey Adam, it's Felicia*
*Hey Mike, it's Felicia*
*Hey Adam, it's Felicia*
 

Triple Trouble

Primary sample: "Rapper's Delight" - by The Sugarhill Gang (1979).

Kickin' lyrics right through your brain
When you hear this sign, you'll be right as rain

Alright

If You
If You
Wanna Know
Wanna Know
The real deal about the three
Well let me tell you
We're triple trouble ya'll
We're gonna bring you up to speed
Check it out

Cause I'm a specializer, rhyme reviser
Ain't selling out to advertisers
What you get is what you see
And you won't see me out there advertising
See I like to party not drink Bacardi
    Bacardi specializes in making rum.
'Cause I'm not looking to throw up on nobody
Known for my spiel like wheelie one wheel
'Cause this is like having a delicious meal
Moving the crowd, well that's a must
I got some words that apply to us and that's
Mesmerizing, tantalizing
Captivating, we're devastating

If You
If You
Wanna Know
Wanna Know
The real deal about the three
Well let me tell you
We're triple trouble ya'll
We're gotta bring you up to speed
Now, check it out

Here's one for the bleachers and the upper tier
Versatile All-Temp-A-Cheer
    Cheer brand laundry detergent.  They advertise that it is good for washing clothes in all tempertures, hence their slogan "All-Temp-A-Cheer"
If you wanna drink call Mr. Belvedere
    The television sitcom Mr. Belvedere aired from 1985-1990.  It starred Christopher Hewett in the title role as a stuffy, proper English butler in the employment of a middle-class American family headed by Bob Uecker.
Run this rap game like a brigadier
I got kicks on the one, seven and eleven
Snares on the five and thirteen
    In rhythm construction - whether with break beats, drum machines, or live percussion instruments - different sounds fall on different "beats" in the rhythm.  A typical rock rhythm is in 4/4 time (though not exclusively), with the primary beat (usually the snare) falling on the first beat of the measure and cymbals and bass drums (on a standard drum kit this is uaully known as the "kick" drum) filling on and in between the other three beats in the measure, creating rock and roll's most distinctive feature, the backbeat.  Typically, songs are arranged in groups of measures, sometimes known as bars.  The repitition of these bars in groups provides the structure of a song (like the familiar framework of 12-bar blues).  The previous two lines of lyrics seem to be referring to construction of a beat, although it doesn't appear to be the rhythm blueprint of this song.  Literally, the above lines mean that there is a kickdrum on beats 1, 7, and 11 in the bar, and snare drum on beats 5 and 13.
Rhymes on time and that's the given
We're hot on the disco scene
*Check a record*
Slow down with I-me, got to stop stingin'
The source of the problem is at the origin
You've got lyrics that have got me cringin'
You're like a fish-wife, quit your damn whingin'

If You
If You
Wanna Know
Wanna Know
The real deal about the three
Well let me tell you
We're triple trouble ya'll
We're gonna bring you up to speed
So, check it out

Bam! Supernature god damn
    "Supernature" - Cerrone (1977).
Cerrone on the microphone I am
    Jean-Marc Cerrone was second only to Giorgio Moroder as the single most influential producer of disco music in Europe during the late 1970's and early 1980's.
Adrock a.k.a sharp cheddar
My rhymes are better
What the Helen of Troy is that?
    From ancient litreature, Helen of Troy had "a face that could launch a thousand ships" and indeed she did.  Her kidnapping resulted in the infamous war between the Trojans and Greeks.  The Beastie Boys make a pun with this reference, echoing the cliche "What in the hell is that?"
Did I hear you say my rhymes is wack?
I'm beautiful you can't touch me
If you pick a rose, well you might just bleed
We're originators you can't feign
Ignorance or pass the blame
'Nuff rhymes coming out the brain
'Nuff beats to drive you insane
'Nuff moves to make your neck crane
'Nuff skill to make the rhymes ingrain
'Nuff heat to leave you in flames
'Nuff style that you can't defame
You see I walk like Jabba The Hutt
    Crime world underlord in the Star Wars films to whom Han Solo owed money.
With the style so new y'all be like what?
Turn the party out like a bon vivant
    "Bon vivant" is the French equivalent of a gourmet or gastronome; a person with refined tastes with respect to food and drink.
With the skill at will that I know you want
On a hot day with the iced latte
Devious like Wyle E. Coyote
    From the Warner Bros. cartoons, the enternal nemesis of the Roadrunner.
Hot to trot-e or maybe not-e
'Cause little did they know there was a baby in her body
Mesmerizing, tantalizing, captivating, devastating

If You
If You
Wanna Know
Wanna Know
The real deal about the three
Well let me tell you
We're triple trouble ya'll
We're gonna bring you up to speed
Check it out

Hey Fuck You

*Uh thank you ladies and gentlemen, this next song is a blast
And I gotta say we are having a ball up here tonight
And when you're ready and...*

Shabba doo, shabba dee
Shabba dee, shabba doo

Which one of you schnooks took my rhyme book?
Look give it back you're wicky wack
With your ticky tack calls didn't touch you at all
I didn't touch your hand man you know its all ball
    In basketball, there are two types of fouls: team and personal fouls.  Team fouls involve basic rule infractions like travelling, goal tending, lane violation, etc.  Personal fouls involve illegal contact with a player on the opposing team.  A majority of the time, personal fouls occur in the process of attempting to block an opponent shooting the ball.  If the blocker's hand interferes with the shooting hands of his opponent it is a foul, however if he only touches the ball, it is a clean and legal block.  A legal block (especially when contested as a foul) is referred to as "all ball", or literally, "I only touched the ball".
You sold a few records but don't get slick
'Cause you used a corked bat to get those hits
    In baseball, corked bats are illegal.  Bats are made of wood and some people have been known to drill out the center of the bat and refill if with cork, making it lighter to swing and not as solid, giving it more of an elastic quality when meeting with the baseball.  In the 2003 baseball season (one year prior to the release of this album) there was a high profile case of bat corking involving Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa.
You've been in the game, your career is long
But when you break it down you've only got 2 songs
MC's are like clay pigeons when I'm shootin' skeet
I just yell pull and Mike drops a beat
    Skeet, or trap, shooting is a sport where objects made of clay, usually resembling various birds (like pigeons), are flung by a machine into the air.  A person armed with a shotgun then attempts to shoot it as it travels through the air.  The person who operates the machine, places the clay pigeon into a spring-loaded arm and cocks it back.  When the shooter is ready for it to be released, he yells "PULL!" and the machine operator lets it go.  "Mike" here is probably referring to Mix Master Mike.
You people call yourselves MC's but you're garbage men
Takin' out the trash when you pull out the pen

*And if you don't it like then hey fuck you!*

Now, I read about you up on page 6
    Infamous NYC area tabloid The New York Post publishes its gossip column on Page 6.
They was trashin' your ass it's sad you're getting dissed
Now talk about your face now don't get pissed
But I suggest you see a dermatologist
I keep that hot sauce hot not mild and weak
It's gonna burn your mouth until you wet your beak
I've got billions and billions of rhymes to flex
'Cause I've got more rhymes than Carl Sagan's got turtlenecks
    Pulitzer Prize winning scientist Carl Sagan's trademark attire was a turtleneck worn with a sport jacket.
Your rhymes are fake like a Canal Street watch
    Where Canal Street runs through the lower east side of Manhattan through Chinatown is filled with dozens and dozens of jewelry stores and street vendors where you can score an "authentic" Rolex watch at a fraction of its usual retail price. ;-)
You're hearing me and you're like *God it's Sasquatch!*
    In 1995, a film crew working for Playboy was shooting a video with Playmate Anna Marie Goddard.  During their stay in the redwood forests of California, they had a Bigfoot/Sasquatch encounter and managed to catch some of it on film.  I read a transcription of this account and at one point someone is credited with saying "Oh my God, it's Sasquatch" however the transcription did not say who said it.  The only copy of the film I have located online to date is without audio, so I have no way of confirming if this is the source of this sample.
I'm walkin' on water while you're stepping in shit
    Referring to the miracle of Jesus Christ, the cliche "walks on water" is reserved for someone who is afforded a high level of respect and admiration.  It is usually used spitefully, as in "The way they act around him, you'd think he walks on water."
So put your sewer boots on before your ass gets lit

*And if you don't like it then hey fuck you!*
*So put a quarter in your ass cause you played yourself*
    sample:  "The Symphony" by Marley Marl (1988), featuring Masta Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap, and Big Daddy Kane.  Big Daddy Kane is the rapper of this line.  Full lyric: "And battlin' me is hazardous to your health/So put a quarter in your ass, cause you played yourself."
*And if you don't like it then hey fuck you!*

Sucker MC's it's me they're resenting
In the animal kingdom they call it presenting
With the dipsy doodle the kit and caboodle
The truth is brutal your grandma's kugel
    Kugel is a traditional Jewish dish comprised of noodles, cream cheese, and vegetables or fruit depending on the chef.
Kings County is my stomping ground
    Kings County is essentially, the borough of Brooklyn.
The Albee Square Mall, Brooklyn, Downtown
    The Albee Square Mall on Fulton St. in Brooklyn was forever immortalized in a Biz Markie song of the same name in 1988.  The property was bought in 2001 and at the time of this album was under rennovation, transforming into The Gallery At Fulton Street.
So don't ask me to wine and dine ya
I'm from Brooklyn you're from Regina
    Regina is the capital of Saskatchewan, Canada.  Of note is that Mike D's wife, director Tamra Davis, shot her film Skipped Parts on-location there.
You're like Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam
    Foghorn Leghorn and Yosemite Sam are both characters from the Warner Brothers cartoons.
You're just yellin' and wildin' wondering who I am
With those lies you're telling you're like Toucan Sam
    This seems to be a mixed metaphor (well, technically simile).  Toucan Sam is the colorful mascot for the Kellogg's brand ceral "Fruit Loops" who has a very long beak or nose.  The idea of a long nose being associated with lying comes from the story of Pinocchio, whose nose grew longer and longer with every lie he told.
But my style's impregnable like the Hoover Dam
    The Hoover Dam, completed in 1936, sits on the border of Nevada and Arizona on the Colorado River.

*And if you don't like it then hey fuck you!*

*Wow-how what a loser*
    sample: "Sex For Teens (Where It's At)" - Stanley Z. Daniels, MD (1969) [Much thanks to site visitor Jacob for spotting this one. You can find a download of the album at the WFMU blog site: here.

Oh Word?

*Yo what's up sucker MCs, check the footnotes y'all
*Word up, Freddy bites your ass*

*Oh word?*

Ad Rock
Yo what the schnitzel we're back
    Wiener schnitzel is a German food comprised of veal cutlets dipped in batter then deep fried.
Shit's getting duller and duller and that's the fact
I don't care what you heard or care what you seen
I swear it wasn't me in Bear Magazine
    "Bear" is a term used in gay culture to refer to gay men who celebrate the masculine aspects of their gender, including among other things, facial and body hair.  Bear Magazine was a reasonably successful periodical that began in the 1980's but has since become defunct.  Currently there is a publication called American Bear Magazine as well as American Grizzly Magazine.  It's hard to say to which magazine Ad Rock is referring and even less certain if he is referring to some rumor that may or may not have floated around.  I find that hard to imagine since our beloved Ad Rock is not exactly hairy nor strikes me as being much of a "man's man".
Because I'm not that hairy, oh contrary
I go with the flow though the tempo varies
So twist the cap and pop the cork
My name's Adrock made in New York

*Oh word?*

MCA
What the ponytail, I don't eat snail
    Actually I think MCA is vegetarian anyway.  Regardless, the French have a nifty little dish comprised of snails in drawn butter.  They like to call it escargot.
I'll steal your keys and then I'll check your mail
'Cause I'm the creepy crawler that be crawling your walls
And I'm the shot caller when it comes to shot calls
And I'll be rockin' parties from block to block
And block party to party the neighborhoods on lock
So hide your eyes, wait, I saw you looking
The name's MCA made in downtown Brooklyn
    Brooklyn is one of the 5 boroughs of New York City.

*Oh word?*

M-Mike D
Yo what the parsley, parsley to the teeth
I'm a rhyme style writer you're a rhyme style thief
I may be paranoid you tried to fade me
Here's a song for you *Lady*
Make you bug out like you don't know what to do
Your momma says "shame on you"
When you're dancing with your crew
So get that poor chicken up off your fork
My name's Mike D made in New York

*Oh word?*

Ad Rock
Yo what the falafel you gotta get up awful
    Falafel is a Middle Eastern dish comprised largely of chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans.  The chickpeas are ground and mized with spices and herbs then formed into balls and deep fried in canola oil.
Early to fool Mr. Furley
    Don Knotts portrayed the bumbling landlord, Ralph Furley, on the television sitcom Three's Company (1977-1984) after Stanley and Helen Roper left the show in 1979.  The general premise of Three's Company was that Jack Tripper had to "fool" the landlord into believing he was gay, so he would be would allowed cohabitate with his two buxom, female roommates.
And that's word to Aunt Shirley and you could
Stick your head in the toilet give yourself a swirley
Listen up biters go please stop
While I'm politickin' at Murray's Cheese Shop
    Murray's Cheese Shop, located on Bleecker Street in the heart of the Village in Manhattan.
Believe what you heard when you talk
You know it's Adrock made in New York

*Oh word?*

MCA
What the phone booth word to hair mousse
You're on the corner and you're selling a hog's tooth
    Since the time of the ancient Egyptians, hog's tooth has been used to "cure" ailments ranging from warts to indigestion.
Don't mean to dis but I've got to point out
The hog's tooth belong inside the hog's mouth
Like Ernest Shackleton said to Orde-Lees
I'll have dog pemmican with my tea
    Captain Ernest Shackleton set sail on the HMS Endurance in 1914 to lead the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.  Their goal was to traverse the Antarctic continent for a variety of topo/carto graphic purposes as well as scientific study.  The Endurance never reached Antartica and was eventually lost at sea.  Her crew spent nearly two years at sea on ice floes and islands inside and around the Antarctic circle in 3 small lifeboats with minimal supplies.  Nearly 70 dogs had been part of the original inventory and some were made into pemmican, a process of drying meat and crushing it into a fine powder then mixing it with melted fat (essentially, this is how beef jerky is made) or simply dissolving it in hot water to make a protein-rich drink.  Thomas Orde-Lees served on the Endurance and kept a mind-bogglingly detailed account of the expedition in a diary.  On April 9th, 1916 he wrote: "As we had had a quarter of a pound of dog-pemmican and two biscuits each, in the boats for tea...".  For the record, 4 dogs survived the expedition and retired to the Wellington Zoo in England.
Now pass the wok 'cause I'm cookin'
The name's MCA made in Downtown Brooklyn

*Oh word?*

Mike D
Yo, what the doofus, say good night
You're Snidely Whiplash I'm Dudley Do-you-right
    Cartoon character Snidely Whiplash, with his greasy, Walrus mustache, was the nemesis of Canadian Mountie Dudley Do-Right.
Times are off the hinges leave your 2-way at the door
We're all up the creek a long way from shore
I'm not walking around looking to get you a cake
The D is for Diamonds not for Drake's
    Drake's Cakes is a brand of pre-packaged snack cakes popular on the east coast, similar to Hostess or Little Debbie.
This not a fantasy, I'm not Mr. O'Rourke
    Ricardo Montalban portrayed the mysterious Mr. Roarke on the television series Fantasy Island (1977-1984).
The name's Mike D made in New York

*Oh word?*
*Woo! Woo! Woo!*

That's It That's All

Back on the scene for the people's delight
You want peace for the people then ya say alright
'Cause George W's got nothing on me
    The 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush.
We got to take the power from he
When I'm on the mic I feel good to go
Like a snow day for school with hot cocoa
So don't speak what I heard, just say what I know
And my ahhh... my zodiac sign is Scorpio
    Mike D's birthday is on Novemeber 20th placing him under the astrological sign of Scorpio.
Look what the cat dragged in
The crème de la crème without the skin
So take a rest and mind your own biz
And that's it that's all that's all there is

*Fresh…fresh…fresh…for you…for you…for you*
*That's fresh…fresh…fresh…for you…for you…for you*

One for Brooklyn, two for Manhattan
Let's go to work, get those hands clappin'
Make you bounce, rock, rollerskate
    "Bounce, Rock,  Skate, Roll" - by Vaughan Mason & Crew (1980).
Don't underrate, yo, how I operate
It ain't what you say, it's what you mean
Intention leads to action, that is my theme
So pay attention now as I begin to recap
Puttin' words and ideas stacked back to back
Some rhymes go flat, well mine go fizz
I got no time for the drama 'cause stress is for kids
'Cause when you're dead and buried well you got no biz
And that's it that's all that's all there is

*Fresh…fresh…fresh…for you…for you…for you*
*That's fresh…fresh…fresh…for you…for you…for you*

Brand new

The time and place for the mind is here and now
Keep the mind present less to worry about
But like the hammer to the nail hit the nail on the head
Well I don't shoot blanks and I don't shoot lead
'Cos I'm a freaky streaker like Winnie the Pooh
With a T-shirt and no pants and I dance the bugaloo
    Come to think of it, I guess the literary/Disney cartoon character Winnie the Pooh is a streaker of sorts, wearing only a T-shirt but no pants.
Like George Whipple on New York One
    In New York City there is an all-news cable network called New York Channel One (real original, huh?).  George Whipple works as a banking lawyer by day and an entertainment correspondent for New York One at night.  Mr. Whipple has rather large, bushy eyebrows, and I'm guessing his hirsuit nature has something to do with the following line.
Got a hairy ass and that's no fun
I'm in the rhyme zone a different time zone
And on the microphone you know that I'm at home
It's time we looked past all our differences
And that's it that's all that's all there is
Come on

*Fresh…fresh…fresh…for you…for you…for you*
*That's fresh…fresh…fresh…for you…for you…for you*

And that's
*Fresh…fresh…fresh…for you…for you…for you*
*That's fresh…fresh…fresh…for you…for you…for you*

All Lifestyles

Ideas spark my hand grabs a pen
Sweeten up the sound let me get the right blend
Coming down the wire to the Neve mic pre
    I won't hazard to guess what particular model they used in the studio, but Neve is a brand that makes microphone pre-amps.  In the business of recording, they are referred to as a Neve mic pre.
Nice up the sound for the A to D
I'm a Wonderama snake can winner
Bagel from Bob and a TV Dinner
I'm the one that won that dance contest
'Cause you know I dance the best
    The preceding four lines probably all are referring to Wonderama, a children's television program produced by New York City television station WNEW and seen throughout the nation on cable.  It was hosted by Bob McAllister and featured, among other things, the Snake Can game, whereby a kid would have to pick from several cans, one of which contained a prize.  A wrong selection could result in a spring-snake jumping out of the can.  The show also featured the "Go Go Dance Sessions" dance contests.  The question in all of this is, did a young Mike D appear on Wonderama?
All you gotta do is do your thing you see
'Cause I don't give a fuck who you're supposed to be
My name is Adrock and I aim to please
And I gotta spread love in society

We got to keep the party going on
All lifestyles, sizes, shapes, and forms

What you saw what you heard
I get involved I might disturb
And if you want what's going down
You might just get that silky sound
So what'cha want? So what'cha need?
    "So What'cha Want" - The Beastie Boys (1992)
I've got the fonts you want to read
Get in the game you gotta scheme
All the same I've got the team
More new wave not OG
    "New Wave" was a term to descirbe the synthesizer laden pop music of the early 1980's.  "OG" is an acornym for "original gangster" coined by Ice-T on his O.G.:Original Gangster album and is used in general to describe old-scgool gangster rap.
Walking down the block you say "Yo D!
When you coming out with the new CD
That spreads love in society?"

We got to keep the party going on
All lifestyles, sizes, shapes, and forms

*Dance sucker*
*Groove*
    samples: both come from "Renegades of Funk" by Afrika Bambaataa (1986).

Goto goto goto goto
Don't mess with crack or the baking soda
Whether in the high rise where you live like Rhoda
    The television series Rhoda (1974-1978) spun-off from the Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-1977), when the show's namesake (portrayed by Valerie Harper) left Minneapolis to return to New York City. Rhoda lived in a high-rise apartment building in Manhattan.
Or in the shack and you live like Yoda
    In the Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983), jedi master Yoda lives in a small shack/hut on the planet of Degobah.
Once again it's on like a brand new morn
Beatsie Beatsie Boys here to keep you all warm
    "Putting Shame In Your Game" by The Beastie Boys (1998).
    Original lyric:
        "Beatsie Beatsie Boys gettin live on the spot
         Putting all kinds of shame in the game you got"
All you spazzes and you freaks
Go and do your thing 'cause you're unique
If it don't hurt nobody else then
Don't be afraid to be yourself and
Special dedication and so on
To all lifestyles, sizes, shapes and forms

We got to keep the party going on
All lifestyles, sizes, shapes, and forms

*Pop*

*Tappin, clappin, rappin, the sound of fingers snappin
A'tappin snappin knockin rappin a little sound growing
Coming and a'going
A'all the time*
 
 

Shazam!

*Everybody get down huh
Everybody get down huh
Everybody get down huh
Huh huh huh huh, Shazam!*

I sneak a chicken tikka
Massala at a gala event
    Chicken Tikka Massala is a post-colonial British dish.  Chicken tikka is an Indian dish which is essentially a chicken kabob with vegetables, seasoned with curry and grilled over an open flame.  During the English occupation of India, the dish was fused with the British desire to eat their meat dishes with gravy.  Legend has it that an agitated Indian chef non-chalantly poured a tin can of Campbell's Tomato Soup over the chicken and veggies to create the very first Chicken Tikka Massala.
I represent that's stupid that's for sure
You be like "Oh yeah Adam, real mature"
I'd like a lettuce, tomato and Munster on rye
    Munster (somtimes Muenster) is a cheese of French origin.  Connoisseurs recommend eating it with a dark bread, like rye.  Well aged Munster is known for having a very pungent odor.
All this cheese is gonna make me cry
Gorgonzola, Provolone
        Gorgonzola and Provolone are both Italian cheeses.
Don't even get me started on this microphone
Blowin' up like my name is Joe Bazooka
    Bazooka Joe was the name of the character in the comic strips that come with every piece of Bazooka Bubblegum.
I'm a super-dooper MC party pooper
On a track so sick it'll make you feel all queasy
Make you do like Fred Sanford with "I'm comin' Wheezy!"
    A case of mixed metaphors.  Fred G. Sanford, portrayed by Redd Foxx, on the  Sanford and Son (1972-1977)television series would regularly grab his chest and feign a heart attack when dismayed by some situation.  He would look toward the heavens and proclaim "I'm comin' Elizabeth!" referring to his dead wife that passed away.  "Wheezy" was the nickname used by George Jefferson (Sherman Hemsley)  for his wife Louise (Isabel Sanford) on another afro-centric television program, The Jeffersons (1975-1985).

*Everybody get down huh
Everybody get down huh
Everybody get down huh
Huh huh huh huh, Shazam!*

On the court I go by the name Praying Mantis
    It seems we've heard this somewhere before... "Get It Together" - The Beastie Boys (1994).
    Original lyric:
        "Praying mantis on the court and I can't be beat"
Got the edge and I've got the advantage
If you could see things from my vantage
Point then you could better understand this
I'm in the lab all day I Scrabble all night
    Ad Rock must be developing a thing for word games.  On Hello Nasty  in "Putting Shame In Your Game" he proclaimed he was the King of Boggle.  Scrabble a the world-famous letter-tile game produced by Hasbro.
I got a Be-Dazzler so my outfit's tight
    The Be-Dazzler is a handheld machine which attaches studs and rhinestones to fabric.
When it comes to panache I can't be beat
I got the most style from below 14th street
    In Manhattan, the numbered streets run west to east and are laid out in a hierarchy running from south to north.  The further north you get, the higher the numbers become.  Everything below 14th Street is considered "lower Manhattan" or "downtown".
Internationally known as the Keebler Elf
    Mascots of the Keebler cracker company, the Keebler elves live in a tree and make the cookies and crackers for Keebler with their elven magic.  There are many Keebler elves, but the head elf, the Keebler elf, would be Ernie.
Can't keep a catalog up on the shelf
You know I splash on beats like sauce on spaghetti
Putting MC's out of business like they're Crazy Eddie
    Crazy Eddie was a tri-state (New York, Connecticut and New Jersey) area chain of electronics stores which aired local television commercial in the late 1970's and throughout the 1980's.  On the commercials, the persona of Crazy Eddie was portrayed by actor Jerry Carroll who promised "truly insane" prices.  The chain went out of business at the end of the 1980's and owner Eddie Antar was prosecuted on SEC violations, resulting in a $73 million dollar judgement and a 7 year prison term.

*Everybody get down huh
Everybody get down huh
Everybody get down huh
Huh huh huh huh, Shazam!*

I know you're sitting pretty in the Hampty Hamps
    The Hamptons, a posh residential area on Long Island, New York.
Posing like you're rolling with that camp
In layman's terms let me break it down
You're flipping and flopping just like a flounder
I'm a hip hop scholar while you're left back
So Jeckle and Rush go back to LeFrak
    LeFrak City, a large apartment complex in Queens. Not sure what the signifigance of Jeckle (Jekyll?) and Rush are though.
I'm a simple man like Chauncy the Gardener
    In the 1979 film Being There (director: Hal Ashby), Peter Sellers portrays Chance, a gardener for a millionaire.  In an accident when he is struck by a car, dazed, he responds to the question of his name, "Chance... gardener" and the woman presumes his name is "Chauncy Gardiner".  A case of mistaken identity ensues as Chance is mistaken for a gentleman of the upper class, however, he is just a simple man - a gardener.
Working 9 to 5 Dolly Parton
    "9 to 5" by Dolly Parton (1980). Original lyrics:
        "Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living
          Barely getting by, it's all taking and no giving"
Got rhymes for jerks that's bringing on drama
Which rhyme you want first? The one about your mama?
Goodness gracious golly gee
Shazam! Freeeeeeak out with the genie!

*Everybody get down huh
Everybody get down huh
Everybody get down huh
Huh huh huh huh, Shazam!*

*I'm gonna tell on you*

An Open Letter To NYC

*Listen all you New Yorkers*

Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
    Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, Staten Island, and Manhattan comprise the five boroughs of New York City.  Battery Park lies at the southern (bottom) tip of Manhattan.
Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen
    New York City is the most ehtnically diverse city in the United States, quite possibly the world.

Brownstones, water towers, trees, skyscrapers
Writers, prize fighters and Wall Street traders
    Wall Street lies at the heart of the lower Manhattan financial district, home to the New York Stock Exchange.
We come together on the subway cars
Diversity unified, whoever you are
We're doing fine on the 1 and 9 line
    The 1 and 9 trains of the New York City subwway system runs from the North Bronx down the western edge of Manhattan terminating at Battery Park in lower Manhattan.
On the L we're doin' swell
    The "L" train of the New York City subway system serves the Brooklyn borough and connects it with 14th Street in Manhattan.
On the number 10 bus we fight and fuss
    The M-10 bus covers 7th and 8th Ave in Manhattan's Upper West Side, providing service between Harlem and Penn Station.
You know we're thorough in the boroughs 'cause that's a must
I remember when the Duece was all porno flicks
    Someone correct me on this if I'm wrong, but the "duece" more than likely refers to 42nd street in Manhattan.  Today, 42nd Street has been completely renovated thanks in large part to Rudy Guiliani's Times Square development initiatives, but it wasn't that long ago that the area around the Port Authority bus terminal at 42nd Street and 8th Avenue was nothing but street walkers, peep shows, strip clubs, and porn movie theatres.  As you may recall, on "She's Crafty" from Licensed to Ill they make reference to seeing someone's girlfriend "8th and Forty Duece", suggesting that she was a prostitute.
Running home after school to play PIX
    Thanks to Larry B. for helping me out with this one.  A local television station in NYC, WPIX (Channel 11), used to offer an interactive television game for kids after school in the late 1970's and early 1980's.  I'm a little fuzzy on precisely how the game worked, but it was developed in conjunction with the Intellivision company, a rival of Atari back in the day.  Apparently, it involved a kid calling on the phone and "controlling" some aspect of the game with voiced commands. UPDATE: Site visitor Mark adds: "Actually, it was quite simple. Kids mailed in a 3x5 card and if their card was picked, they were called at home, usually around 4pm. Then they "played" a video game on the television, either "NFL Football" or some first person space shooter (perhaps Space Spartans).  In the football game, when the ball was hiked, the kid had to say "PIX" over the phone when they wanted the Quarterback to throw the football. For the space game, they said "PIX" whe they wanted to shoot at the aliens. Since there was a delay from when they said "PIX" to the person firing/throwing, the kid was always a second off. So the kids started saying "PIXPIXPIXPIXPIX" as fast as they could to try and hit something. The prize was something like a t-shirt. And bragging rights on the playground."
At lunch I'd go to Blimpies down on Montague Street
    Blimpies, a national chain of submarine sanwich shops.
And hit the Fulton Street Mall for the sneakers on my feet
    Fulton Street Mall, a pedestrian mall in Brooklyn.
Dear New York I hope you're doing well
I know a lot's happened and you've been through hell
So, we give thanks for providing a home
Through your gates at Ellis Island we passed in droves
    Ellis Island, New York was the home of the immigration station from 1892 to 1954.  40% of the American population can trace their heritage through this immigration station.

Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen

The L.I.E. the B.Q.E
    Acronyms referring to two different highways in the New York City area - the Long Island Expressway (I-495) and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (I-278).
Hippies at the band shell with the L.S.D.
    Some of the older parks in the New York City area have band shells, where musicians can play.  I know Central Park has one, but this could be referring to any number of them in the area I'm sure.  LSD, of course refers to the popular hallucinogenic, lysergic acid diethylamide.
Get my BVD's from VIM
    BVD undergarments, founded in 1876 by Bradley, Voorhees, and Day.
    VIM is a chain of retail stores that specializes in jeans and sneakers established in 1977 in New York City.
You know I'm reppin' Manhattan the best I can
    Manhattan is one have New York City's five boroughs.
Stopped off at Bleecker Bob's got thrown out
    Blecker Bob's is a record store located on WEst 3rd St. in Manhattan.
Sneakin' in at 4:00 am after going out
You didn't rob me in the park at Diana Ross
    In Central Park near West 81st Street is a playground named for legendary Motown singer Diana Ross.
But everybody started looting when the light went off
From the South South Bronx on out to Queensbridge

From Hollis Queens right down to Bay Ridge
    Two neighborhoods in Queens and Brooklyn, respectively.  Hollis, of course is the neighborhood famed for being the childhood neighborhood of a lot of early rappers like Run-DMC and LL Cool J.
From Castle Hill to the Lower East Side

From 1010 WINS to Live At Five
    1010 WINS is a New York City area, all-news AM radio station.  "Live at Five" is the name of New York City's WNBC (channel 4) evening news program.
Dear New York this is a love letter
To you and how you brought us together
We can't say enough about all you do
'Cause in the city we're ourselves and electric too

Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen

Shout out the South Bronx where my mom hails from
Right next to High Bridge across from Harlem
To the Grand Concourse where my mom and dad met
    The Grand Concourse is a major thoroughfare of the Bronx, one of NYC's five boroughs.
Before they moved on down to the Upper West
    Manhattan's Upper West Side (west of central park).
I see you're still strong after all that's gone on
Life long we dedicate this song
Just a little something to show some respect
To the city that blends and mends and tests
Since 911 we're still livin'
    Reference to the terrorist attacks which destroyed the World Trade Center buildings in New York City on September 11, 2001.
And lovin' life we've been given
Ain't nothing gonna take that away from us
Were lookin' pretty and gritty 'cause in the city we trust
Dear New York I know a lot has changed
2 towers down but you're still in the game
    Another reference to the World Trade Center buildings destroyed on September 11, 2001.
Home to the many rejecting know one
Accepting peoples of all places, wherever they're from

Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten
From the Battery to the top of Manhattan
Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin
Black, White, New York you make it happen

*New York City*

Crawlspace

Oh yeah, ay yo, this is a dedication to all you backstabbers and bitin' MCs
Scratchin' like you got fleas
You know what I'm sayin'?
Yo, we watchin' you, son
We up on the roof, we down in the cellar, up in the crawlspace
Listen fool, I got my eye on you, son
What...

There's a party going on in here for real
I got more product than Ron Popeil
So deal with that troop we're troopers
The only air time you get is on bloopers
    The TV Bloopers and Practical Jokes telelvision program, hosted by Dick Clark and Ed McMahon, featured missed cues, mistakes, and various unusable video tape footage salvaged from the filming of television programs.
Beatsie Boys in the place up in the space
So renovate or evacuate
You better think twice before you start flossing
I been in your bathroom often
Taking punk MC's out I'm all about
My to do list today is turn the party out
Getting hot in here no room to breathe
I got my pen in my hand so you best not sleep
No I'm not Herman Munster nor Dr. Spock
    Herman Munster was the bloackheaded, Frankestein-ish father on the The Munsters television program.
    Pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock (1903-1998) published "baby and child care" in 1946 and influenced a generation of parents in child-rearing with over 50 million copies sold. With the wealth of sci-fi references on this album, one has to wonder if he doesn't mean Mr. Spock from Star Trek, but the Beastie Boys have used the proper salutation in the past, so it's hard to say.
I go by the name of the King Adrock
So here's a match my ass, and your face
Listen when I tell you dog
I'm in your crawl space

You're in front of my house and you know that's wack
Bite my rhymes with a scanner from Radio Shack
    Radio Shack is a chain of retail stores specializing in home electronics.
You suckers try to front like you've got the force
But I'll slay like Vader sip you for a first course
    "The Force" was the mystical energy which flowed through all living things in the Star Wars films.  Darth Vader was the name Anakin Skywalker chose when he was seduced by the "dark side of The Force".
Don't even get me started on the intercourse
*Ahhhh!*
Don't step into my zone or even periphery
Can't grab a hold of my style it's too slippery
The way you act a fool son you can't erase
I'll have you running on your way like steeple chase
    Steeple chase is a stlye of horse racing where the jockeys are required to jump their steeds over obstacles as they circle a track.
You tried to take my title, put it back in place
But now you're busted wearing panties and lace
Stealing my style from my trophy case
But my drive's secure like on the army base
You're sneaking and peeking and trying to give chase
But you ain't never gonna catch me
I'm in your crawl space

Schematics, blueprints and microfilm
Calibrate your sonar when I'm in your realm
'Cause you know we're getting scarier and scarier
And this extends beyond the Tri-State-Area
    There are many "tri-state areas" in the United States, but this probably refers to the New York City's tri-state area of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut.
Omnipresent and omnipotent
My rhymes are whales and yours are rodents
This means huge compared to very small
You look a little chilly, can I get you a shawl?
'Cause these rhymes are 200 proof
    Alcohol potency is measured in proof.  Proof is equal to 2x the alcohol percentage, for example, Wild Turkery whiskey is 190 proof, which means it has an alcohol content of 95%.  200 proof, then is the highest proof rating that alcohol can conceivably be.
They're like anvils lined up on a roof
Waiting to drop on your corny melon
    In cartoons, a blacksmith's anvil is typically dropped on someone's head as a form of slapstick comedy.
'Cause were not buying what you're selling
First you want to battle then you start to whine
You're looking hungry, it must be snack time
So run home where you feel safe
But don't sleep Cochise
    Given their love of 70s cinema, this is likey a reference to the character from the film 1979 film Warriors, who was named after the famed Apache chief from American history.
I'm in your crawl space

*What was that about?*
*You know, maintenance needs*

The Brouhaha

Now what the blood clot I rap a lot
What you gonna do when the beat goes drop?
Whatcha talkin' 'bout Willis? Who the illest?
    "What you talkin' 'bout, Willis" was the catch phrase used by Gary Coleman on the American sitcom "Diff'rent Strokes" the late '70s.
You know my name is Adam stop callin' me Phyllis
Ya hear some fuss, you're like what's the clamor?
It's just me naked on the cover of Glamour
A phenomenon pandemonium
The club is blowing up like plutonium
What's all the fanfare what's the to do
We're known to bring the hullabaloo
On stage or at the spa
Guaranteed we bring the brouhaha

*'Cause it's a brouhaha*

There's a commotion that's goin' down
I talk more shit then drown the clown
    Drown the Clown is drinking game involving a deck of cards.
I'm like that freak from Cirque de Soleil
With my leg behind my head and a rhyme to say
Ten nine eight seven six five four
Get upon the mic and I'm a even the score
One two three, three to two one
Don't carry a knife and I don't carry a gun
Yo we be making mountains out of Cool Whip
Pass me the mint for the julep
    A mint julep is a cocktail comprised of bourbon whiskey, sugar, water, and mint and is a popular drink in the Southern United States, and most famously associated with the Kentucky Derby.
Tell me everybody where is the love
Hey yo what's the motherfuckin' hubbub

*'Cause it's a brouhaha*

Communicator check one two one two
This is Bones McCoy on a line to Sulu
Set the bullshit to warp factor one
Check your tri-corder set your phaser to stun
    The previous several lines are all Star Trek references.  Star Trek was an American science fiction TV show in the late 60s.      Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy and Hikaru Sulu were two of the characters.  "Warp Factor" refers to the various warp speeds at which the starship Enterprise could travel.  Tri-corders were a hand held device used to take readings of various things in the environment and phasers were a hand-held weapon that could be set to "stun" in addition to being lethal.
Oh mais oui you can catch me
    Near as I can tell, in French, mais oiu literally means "but, yes" and is the English language equivalent to "of course".
At Jean Vie with a pastry
    Though spelled "Jean Vie" in the liner notes, this probably refers to the Jon Vie Pastry Shop and Cafe which used to be in the West Village, NYC.
C'est ci c'est la oh n'est pas
Qu'est-ce-que c'est le brouhahaha
Ha haha haha!
Just back from Japan and ooh I'm laggin'
Goin' rao rao with the dungeon dragon
    In the role playing game Dungeons and Dragons, Rao in the god of peace, reason, and sanity.

You can dance if you want to leave your friends behind
But if they don't dance and then they won't dance they can kiss my fuckin' ass
    from "Safety Dance" - Men Without Hats (1982)
    "We can dance if we want to, we can leave your friends behind
      'Cause your friends don't dance and if they don't dance well they're no friends of mine"

*'Cause it's a brouhaha*

We Got The

Who got the chance to make things right?
Why the politicians always want to fight?
The Christian Coalition and the right wing ooooh!
    The Christian Coalition of America is a powerful political action group in the U.S. comprised of conservative, fundamentalist Christians.  It exerts a great deal of influence over the conservative Republican party (the right wing of American politics as opposed to the left wing liberal Democrat party).
Let me tell you what you can do
Step outside the cone of silence
    "The Cone Of Silence" was a gadget used on the television sitcom Get Smart.  It was a plastic shield that would come down over two people's heads (usually Maxwell Smart and the Chief) and prevent other people from hearing the conversation.  The running gag was that it never worked right though, and conversations always ended with the two people yelling at each other trying to understand what they were saying.
Too much hatred and violence
It's time to rewind
We need a military decline
Got the power of the mind focused
Government like a locust
Are we gone or just going?
Time to act on what we be knowing y'all

Who got the power to make a difference?
Who got the power to make a change?
Who got the power to make a difference?
We got the
We got the
We got the

Eyes on the prize and never wane
Take the bull by the reins
If you want it be the change
Like Gandhi and MLK
    Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) lead a movement of independence from British rule in his homeland of India with a method of non-violence. The previous line references a Ghandi quote, "Be the change you want to see in the world."
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) was the leading advocate of peaceful, nonviolent demonstration during the American Civil Rights movement of the 1960's, before his assassination.
Wait up, got to change the system
Need knowledge, power and wisdom
Same way I rock this microphone
Speak up, just let it be known
Hey ladies, fellas
And everyone between
Take the power back and let them react
And let's show them what we mean
Check it out

Who got the power to make a difference?
Who got the power to make a change?
Who got the power to make a difference?
We got the
We got the
We got the

We can work, walk, march and protest
Think about how we approach this
Ask questions but they keep frontin'
Due time we change a little something
Hey yo don't you know
Won't forget Amaduou Diallo
    An unarmed Diallo was shot and killed by 4 police officers who unloaded 41 rounds into him in 1999. You can check out the whole story on wikipedia.
To the crooked people and the crooked cops
Got to spread love before the world goes *cuckoo*
Never again should we use the A-bomb
    Not counting nuclear testing, the atom bomb ("A-bomb") has only been used twice: on the same day by the United States to end World War II when dropped on the Japanese cities of Nagasaki and Horoshima in 1945.
We need an international ban on all W.O.M.D.'s gone
    "W.O.M.D." = Weapons Of Mass Destruction
We need a multilateral disarm

Who got the power to make a difference?
Who got the power to make a change?
Who got the power to make a difference?
We got the
We got the
We got the

*...the power is the thing.*

Now Get Busy [Bonus Track]

Whether in a penthouse or a cave dweller
I can tell you 'bout now I'm not a fortune teller
Grab a treat from Yossi my muffin seller
    Most likely, Yossi Bakery and Sweet House in Brooklyn.
Got mad technique like Rudy Van Geller
    Rudy Van Geller, reknowned producer/engineer of jazz recordings.
And yes I got a plan I'm a carry out it
Yes I'm pro-choice I'm a scream and shout it
Yes I love life and I try not to doubt it
Yes I'm gonna body 'cause I'm 'bout it 'bout it
When it rains I don't use an umbrella
When I write rhymes, I use indelible ink
That will make you think
Flowing like water that you love to drink

NOW get busy

Sweet like a crepe filled with Nutella
    Nutella is a hazelnut spread.
Creamy like buffalo mozzarella
    As you might suspect, buffalo mozzarella is a cheese made from water buffalo milk.
Sneaking around you know I smell ya
Well I play ya like a peanut and throw the shell ya
Well I could give a fuzz if ya think you're a baller
I gets 'em ??? ?? well you fall smaller
Middle school rapper and the crowd gets your love
If ya think about your grandma go ahead call her
From the East Coast so I don't say hella
At the mic stand my performance is stellar
Pop the tape in and I listen to fella
I give a little shout to Nelson Mandela
    Mandela, South African anti-aparthied activist who became president of his country after serving 27 years in prison for his activism and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

NOW get busy

Known for the words that make you scream and holler
I'm Count Dooku to your Queen Amidala
    Dooku and Amidala were characters in the second installment of Star Wars films (Episodes 1 through 3).
Give a shout to Spiros or John Waller
    Spiros is a character in the book Corfu Sunset by John Waller.
I'm a student of the game and a bonafide scholar
So ease up on the bong to ease that coughin'
Butter's on the table now watch it soften
Bring in those beats and I'm a bring them muffin
I'm a keep rappin' when I'm in my coffin
Like a mind gone mad that is unwinding
In a padded room the walls you're climbing
Don't sign on the line if it looks binding
Ya have to get loose and find the lining

NOW get busy