High Plains Drifter – Beastie Boys cover image

High Plains Drifter – Beastie Boys

January 18, 2021 stories

Songs Influential to Dist1nc7ive Stories: High Plains Drifter – Beastie Boys. So, this is a little blog-series on the songs that influence my Distinctive Stories podcast. This time, I want to write about High Plains Drifter from the Beastie Boys album Paul’s Boutique.

This is just such a unique song. How in the world can they have rap/chorus (“I’m a… High… Plains… Drifter…”) and then rap over it, and it still works? Yeah, I know I used the em tag three times in that last sentence, but seriously, WTF?? One of my favorite songs.

Honorable mention: Rhyming “cellular” and “the hell you were.” Love it. This song just sounds so badass. The little side-stick (cowbell?) tap-out, rock drum kit, Eagles bass line, the orgasmic background sampling.

Best of all, it’s a story. Many songs are just concepts, or about lost love or being in a rock band. My favorite songs are the ones that paint a picture, that tell a story. When a song does that, you remember it.

I bet High Plains Drifter was incredibly fun to produce. I put the over/under on how many times they said, “do you think we can get away with this?” at 17.

See the Genius entry.