Today in Hip Hop History: Paul’s Boutique

Paul's Boutique (1989)

July 25, 1989

Today marks the 26th anniversary since the Beastie Boys released their critically acclaimed sophomore studio album, Paul’s Boutique, through Capitol Records, in 1989. Featuring production from the Dust Brothers, Paul’s Boutique is noted for being almost completely composed of samples and a pinnacle of the hip hop sampling world.

While the Dust Brothers wanted to create a hit record, the duo agreed with the Beastie Boys on producing an unprecedented, experimental and sonically different record. In total, 105 songs were sampled on the album, including 24 individual samples on the last track alone. The heavy sampling in Paul’s Boutique is considered essentially impossible at that same level nowadays.

Initially, the album was deemed as a commercial failure in comparison to their debut album, Licensed to Ill, and Capitol Records stopped promoting it early. However, over time, the album spoke volumes to the hip hop world by itself, and is now recognized as a critical point in the hip hop timeline. Paul’s Boutique has been labelled as one of the most inventive rap albums of all time and its list of contemporary accolade are endless.

To name a few: on January 27, 1999, Paul’s Boutique became RIAA certified double platinum in sales. And in 2003, the album was ranked number 156 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

Check out True Too’s classic album review of Paul’s Boutique here!

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