New Beastie Boys Anti-War Song

The Beastie Boys have released a brand new anti-war song, “In A World Gone Mad…,” on their official site. Click here to download. Here are the lyrics.

“This song is not an anti-American or pro-Saddam Hussein statement. This is a statement against an unjustified war.” – Adam Horovitz

66 thoughts on “New Beastie Boys Anti-War Song”

  1. Oh christ, I just listened to this song… its fucking horrible, the beat is nice, but some of the worst forced rhyming… Talk about campy. Thanks for the political lesson Beastie Boys. Man, I wish Ad Rock would run for president… Maybe Martin Sheen could be his running mate.

  2. Ya have to be impressed with the Beasties evolution. From songs about fighting for you right to partay, songs extolling the brass monkey, and songs about doing chicks with whiffle ball bats to:

    “First the ‘War On Terror’ now war on Iraq

    We’re reaching a point where we can’t turn back

    Let’s lose the guns and let’s lose the bombs

    And stop the corporate contributions that their built upon

    Well I’ll be sleeping on your speeches ’til I start to snore

    ‘Cause I won’t carry guns for an oil war”

    Bob Dylan, watch your back dawg…

  3. This rap is weak, its so bad, its almost funny. I agree, and I don’t like celebrities pushing their half-witted opinions on world affairs onto the general public, I think it comes off as arrogant and preachy. You guys are fucking entertainers, like clowns, dancers, and football players, stick to things you know. Like doin’ girls with a wiffle ball bat. The downward spiral from the Pauls Boutique/Check Your Head years continue….

  4. Come on you guys. This may not be the best song the Beasties have ever released, but it’s pretty fucking insane to suggest that musicians should not voice their opinions through their music. What the fuck is that? Have you ever heard Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message”? Public Enemy?

    “Fight for Your Right” and Licensed to Ill were 17 years ago! To blow off these guys’ opinions because of funny rhymes they wrote when they were teenagers is a little severe, don’t you think? Back in 1992 they kicked off “Stand Together” on Check Your Head with: “I don’t see things quite the same as I used to.” You know? People grow up. Evolution time, resolution time.

    All that said, “In A World Gone Mad” doesn’t sound that great. I’ll give it more listens before I judge it too harshly, but as for now, it’s just not impressing me very much.

  5. Yeah, I hear you Jake, but you have to admit that hearing famous people (Susan Surandan, Martin Sheen, Sean Penn….etc) tell YOU about the impending war is ignorant. They should know their place. Im not pro-war by any means, but at least I understand my place. I think ‘fight the power’, ‘by the time I get to arizona’, is completely different then this one sided “war sucks” nonsense. Jake, don’t you think it kind of insults your audience, at least a little bit?

  6. Do I sense a massive political debate occuring in the following posts..? Oh Jake, you sneeky fucker, you used the Beastie Boys to trick us into a political debate…

  7. i liked it. granted the ryhmes at times(hey that ryh…) seemed forced but i really got into the beat. i think the fact that its gonna get extra publicity because of the way its been released will lead to the beastie boys gettin alot of flack over this song where as if theyd kept it as an album track the reaction wouldnt be as harsh.

  8. Know you’re place!? Your place is in a democratic society (if you’re posting from the US). It’s a tenuous one at best, but it is still a place where you can voice dissent. The Beastie Boys are citizens and as such have the right to express their views. Yes, they’re also celebrities and as such grab a few more ears, but that doesn’t mean we should go back to the good old days of entertainers (see Ronald Reagan) making propaganda films for the Defense Department because they “know their place.”

    By the way, I couldn’t help noticing you only mentioned entertainers who are against the pending war. Should those who are against cancer or AIDS shut up too because they’re not doctors?

  9. For some reason I can’t quite explain, I agree that I hate to hear actors talk about ANYTHING. I think it’s probably because I know they’re all dumb as bricks, ha ha.

    I don’t have a problem with the lyrics of this song. Sure, they’re one-sided, often simplisitic, and occasionally silly, but I think that’s okay. I think it’s prefectly okay to be serious and goofy at the same time; I mean, that’s pretty much my way of life. So I think the lyrics are fine.

    But I’m not sure the song itself holds together. The vocals on the chorus sound terrible. Is MCA’s voice totally shot? I hate multi-layered vocals in hip hop. I also hate singing in hip hop. (Except for that one song by the Roots.) I also miss real sampling and scratching…

  10. Derek,

    Which entertainers are pro-war? Do you think that this is intelligent commentary? I believe in their right to do so, but I will form my opinions around information, not according to washed up rappers and actors. I think its arrogant to be preached at by the beastie boys, thats all. Imagine if the dude selling you your egg mcmuffin in the morning gave you an antiwar speech, and he is as qualified as AdRock, MCA, and Mike D to do so.

  11. The Beastie Boys write about what’s grabbing their attention — how can they avoid the war? And why should they, as Derek says? Musicians have always spoken out about unjustified violence. See/hear Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin On,” Dylan’s “With God on Our Side,” “Only a Pawn in Their Game,” “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll,” and many more. Cat Power’s “Maybe Not.” Pavement’s “Stereo.” Not a bad song among them.

  12. When did Glono get so PC? Yes, we should think its fabulous that anyone with fame gets to project their voice on issues they have no idea about to a much larger crowd than any of us, or even those who actually do know what they are talking about.

    Jake: I think the song barely holds itself together, until the last verse or so, when it totally falls apart. And MCA is definiately losing his voice, sounds wayyyy more strained then usual.

  13. If PC stands for “polically concerned” then I think we’ve always been PC. And we will continue to be.

    Why do you think the Beasties have no idea about the issues surrounding the war? Been hanging out with them much lately? These are three politically active and aware motherfuckers. And have been for at least ten years. I would trust their opinions over anything John fucking Ashcroft or Donald Rumsfeld tries to tell me!

  14. Yes, Fuck Colon Powell, Im sure Mike D has the inside track, because Russell Simmons has Top Secret Clearance… Word is… that there will infact be an Egg Raid on Mojo.

    You are talking about a country that treats woman like shit, excercises absolutly no freedom of speech, practices genocide. If you don’t believe me, ask a kurd.

  15. Wow, one thing I am sure of, I am sure the Beastie Boys were not aware that the Iraqi regime did all those horrible things!

    And the United States would never, ever cooperate with or install a dictator that did all those horrible things. We stand firmly against those kind of governments. Always have.

  16. Uh oh, Chris, looks like you’re the one tricking us into a political debate, ha!

    Speaking of Colin Powell, isn’t it funny that he’s completely abandoned his eponymous Doctrine? Remember those six questions we’re supposed to answer before getting involved in a conflict? A refresher if your memory is as bad as Powell’s seems to be:

  17. Hey, Bush didn’t put that dude in power, neither did his dad. The fact remains, that those people are as fucking oppressed as hell. Did he not try to exterminate the kurdish race before they were exiled? Did he not poison his own people, thousands of people? How is that different from Hitler? Do woman have any rights in that country? Do you have the right to say anything over there? He ran for president and recieved 100% of the vote, what does that say to you.

    I know the reason that we are there is for our own self interest, no doubt. And Im not saying we should go firebomb that shithole, but wouldn’t it be nice if those people could experience the freedom that we have grown accustomed to? I don’t know what the answer is, I got my degree in art, ask me about that, and I probably still couldn’t answer.

    You know, the real news of the day is that Rob Zombies “Night of a Thousand Corpes” is being released.

    I am hoping Mr.Zombie will appear on Larry King, and talk about Medicare and a senior prescription plan.

  18. I propose that the US build a “First Star Cavalry.” Led by comedienne/national security expert Janeane Garofalo, the unit will also include forward observer Sean Penn, communications men MCA, Ad-Rock, and Mike D, and “President” Martin Sheen, backed up by his son Charlie reprising his roles from “Hot Shots” AND “Navy Seals.” While his stance on talks of war is currently unclear, I’m sure that the First Star Cavalry would be glad if famous arm-breaker and funny runner Steven Segal was involved.

  19. This is the story of 12 people picked to live in a war, to find out what happens when people stop being nice and start being real…

    Oh yeah, and the song is pretty rough too. Man, where’s the outrage?

  20. All I gotta do is laugh at anyone who takes outrage at that particular Beastie Boys song, because it’s lamer than a two-legged racehorse. Am I offended that people like the Beasties are telling me in a ridiculous “let’s all hold hands and sing” way that they oppose the war? Hell no, I have more important things to be offended by, not the least the truly thug-like behavior that North Korea is showing the world that it might be capable of.

    Did you all know that John Cougar Mellencamp has weighed in on the war as well? Check it out at if you care. Not much of a song, but better than the Beasties’ attempt, that’s certain. There’s a related article that JC is too chickenshit to even go on record that it’s against the war.

    Sigh. Gotta love a celebrity who can wash both ways; look out for the backwash.

  21. politics, politics, politics. Lets get back to discussing how bad the song sucks. Those rhymes are marky mark bad. Those rhymes are worse than the man from mars stopped eatin cars and now he only eats guitars. I’d rather eat a huge box of peeps than listen to that song. Hostess sno balls, even. The BBs were a funny novelty act that went on to make 2 pretty good albums. They have been resting on those meager laurels for about a dozen years now. Its about time the BBs were taken down from their pedestal as the epitomy of cool and recognized as being the middle aged talentless know it alls that they are.

  22. “Which entertainers are pro-war? Do you think that this is intelligent commentary?”

    Ron Silver (just saw him on Hardball last night), Bruce Willis, Charlton Heston, and any country singer who was born after 1970. They all seem to echo the same lame chorus.

    I don’t want to get into a discussion of whether the war is justified. This isn’t the place for that. I will say that the Beastie Boys have been speaking out on social issues for years and this is a topic for which they have an opinion.

    It doesn’t bother me at all when artists or entertainers voice their opinions. In fact, I like it. It shows their connection to the world around them. I also take their comments with a grain of salt because I KNOW they don’t have any more insight or info than the rest of us. But when my friend Tom speaks up on politics and world events I don’t tell him to shut the fuck up because he’s not a cabinet member. I’ve known him for years and value his opinion just as I value the opinion of the Beastie Boys when it comes to some social/geopolitical issues.

    Maybe Chris Galla would like to go back to the 50s when entertainers kept their mouths shut and only played what the Man allowed on the air.

  23. Tom Cruise is another pro-war celeb. I cant beleive that suddam got 100% in the election! He is a popular motherfuker. Thats way more than George’s 49%. Also I think I deserve some sympathy for I am opressed by the United States Government on a daily basis and live thousands of miles away :( The leader of my country is dictated by the white house. Mabey ill get lucky and Canada will bomb me and Tony Blait into democracy :)

  24. Boy, that’s a disappointment. The rhymes are weak and that backing track is boring as shit, imo. I like that the BBoys have something to say, but you’d think they could be a little more creative about it.

  25. D. phillips, fuckin relax with your “the Man” bullshit. Im glad you enjoy the commentary of self important middle aged rappers. But I don’t and I was telling you why I don’t. Others on this page have emphasized the same idea, that it is preachy and arrogant.

    “The Beastie Boys are citizens and as such have the right to express their views”.

    Wow, thanks D, no shit?

    “Should those who are against cancer or AIDS shut up too because they’re not doctors?”

    Come on, apples and oranges D., I hoep you aren’t this stupid. Who is pro AIDS? Here is a relevant comparison, would you listen to me tell you all about the immuneology/microbiology behind the AIDS virus? I hope not, because I know as much about an AIDS cure, as AdRock knows about world politics.

  26. The fact remains that some of the best most enduring music ever made has been written in protesting events or ideas that musicians disagreed with.

    Kristy mentioned some great stuff already. I would also add Edwin Star – “War”, Ten Years After – “I’d Love To Change The World”, CSNY – “Ohio”, Barry McGuire – “Eve of Destruction”m Neil Young – “Southern Man”, & Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Sweet Home Alabama”. Because the artists do have strong opinions, the music and lyrics are generally more poignant and relevant.

    Thus, regardless of whether I agree w/ the Beastie Boys or not, or whether the song sucks or not, I applaud them for making a statement and using their artform to do so. Also, they aren’t charging for it either; it’s available free on their website.

    If you don’t agree with their opinion, don’t listen to it. If you don’t think they should rap about their opinions, start listening to bubblegum pop. Unless you have a problem with Hansen expressing their deep opinion on the state of Mmmmbop.

  27. BTW, Here’s an excerpt from an interview w/ David Crosby talking about “Ohio”:

    Crosby recalls hearing the Kent State news, then handing a guitar to Young, who wrote the song on the spot. “It was unbelievable watching him write it. Being present when someone is fired up that way, and delivering that kind of art, is wild,” says Crosby.

  28. Little Sab, I would hope you would seek out information from experts on the state of Mmmmbop instead of listening to those musicians in Hansen. What do pubescent Mormons know about the state of Mmmmbop? I hate it when blond teenagers push their half-witted opinions on the state of Mmmmbop on the general public. They should know their place. I’m not anti-Mmmmbop by any means, but at least I understand my place. I believe in their right to do so, but I will form my opinions around information, not according to washed up popsters with a Jackson 5 fixation.

  29. I’d like everyone to go on the record now and explain what “your place” is.

    Mine seems to be making sarcastic comments on GloNo and going to grad school.

  30. Holy crap, I just a defense of the Beasties’ right to free speech so long-winded that I almost killed myself with boredom re-reading it. Not only that, but there was a lengthy ramble about my own opposition to the war. Yikes. Glad I killed that.

    Of course it’s their place to rap about the impending war. Why not? They can rap about whatever they want, and you can decide whether or not they are full of shit. Go ahead and burn an American flag, but when you start telling me whose place it is to comment on any issue, I’m going to start saying you’re an unpatriotic, fascistic punk.

    I need to listen to the track more closely to render an opinion on the quality, but it didn’t make me flinch on the first run through.

  31. It’s hard to find an issue-oriented song that is well crafted musically. If artists are primarily motivated to lyrically convey an issue, then the music is almost by definition, a secondary consideration.

    I happen to believe that the Beasties’ taking one song to speak out about the times we’re living in, is more important than the Beasties making sure that the song stands up on its own, musically. Wish they could have done both, but I’ll give them credit just for taking the time to speak their piece. I’m with D. Phillips. Artists are a part of the world around them. Silence is political.

  32. Jake, I’m really offended by your comments about Hansen. You act like they haven’t been listening to and thinking about Mmmmbop for years. Sure, we could all do the same, but it’s Hansen who’ve really been in the trenches this last little while.

  33. Alright D, as soon as I leave work today, I will proceed to smoke weed. Maybe that will quell my asshole mentality, maybe if I throw some hash on top of it, that beastie boys song will almost be decent.

    Haven’t you met people before that push their political opinions on you, as if to say that they are fact, and you think “God, this guy is a fucking retard”. The truth is, we don’t know the truth. Nothing like this is cut and dry. I believe that there are things going on, issues at hand, that we are not informed about, and you have to hope that things are being done in our best interest. You know, I don’t trust George Bush at all, or Rumsfeld for that matter. I tend to think that Colin Powell has a grip on both of those turds.

    You know what the real fact is? This war, its going to happen. No matter how many shitty songs are written, no matter how many high schoolers march around Lincoln Park. There is 160,000 (!) Americans over there, do you think they will do a U-Turn? Not likely. So since it will happen, now what? Since we are going to do it, lets hope its fucking fast, effective, minimal civilian casualities, etc.

    Also, I am hoping this shit is televised, so Derek and I got shit to watch when we’re gettin’ stoned.

  34. “Haven’t you met people before that push their political opinions on you, as if to say that they are fact, and you think ‘God, this guy is a fucking retard'”.

    Know ’em? They all write for Glorious Noise!

    That said, I get what you’re saying. I guess I objected to you statement about knowing your place. Whether this song is good or bad I still think it’s a valid subject for the Beastie Boys to address. Like I said, they’re part of this country too and can voice their opinions like any of the rest of us (unless you’re in a mall in upstate New York, then you get thrown in jail).

    Also, I get a little sensative when people start spouting off about “liberal Hollywood” or any other kneejerk term Bill O’Reilly and Rush Fathead come up with. Yes, some actors are annoying know-it-alls, but they can still speak their minds. I’d sooner shut up conservative radio show hosts than Sean Penn, who has added more to American Culture as Jeff Spicoli than Sean Hannity could ever dream of.

  35. Chris, I’m also going to take issue with your position that because something is a stark inevitability, you shouldn’t speak out about it. If something you disagree with is being shoved down your throat and the throats of the rest of the world, all the more reason to speak out and let everyone know that there is dissent, and that there just might be another, better way.

  36. No winning with you fuckers,

    I am interested in seeing action, in seeing results Jaime. What I was saying is that this song are pie in the sky. Yeah, war sucks, but realize, this is going to happen, so what now? Do we call all of our peers over there baby-killers? Hey man, I ain’t fightin’ for shit, I wouldn’t fight if Hitler came into my office and kicked me in the balls. I feel sorry for those that are my age and over there. What if you were one of those ROTC kids back in college, or an armed reserve guy, someone that just did training once in a while for some extra tuition money, never thinking that they would have to actually go there, get rocks thrown at them by a twelve year old, and have to shoot some dude in the face. I couldn’t live with myself. Im not going to tell them that they are going to lose their lives for a questionable cause, shit Im sure they will have enough problems when they come back.

    The other songs people mentioned (Skynard, Dylan, etc.) were done so intelligently, so subtle… this is like some loud mouthed one sided bullshit…. with MCA sounding like he is shitting through the whole song. Come on, at least give me that.

  37. I’ll give you that too. This also reminds me of the debate we had about all the post 9/11 songs and how musically terrible and lyrically trite most were. Yes, we were all horrified by the events of September 11, but can’t we count on our artists to voice that horror without cliche and jingoism?

    By the way, I don’t think anyone on this discussion is talking about holding the soldiers, marines, airmen and women or sailors in contempt for any of this. I do hold the administration and weak ass congress who are sending them over in contempt though and that’s what the song is all about.

  38. “By the way, I don’t think anyone on this discussion is talking about holding the soldiers, marines, airmen and women or sailors in contempt for any of this. I do hold the administration and weak ass congress who are sending them over in contempt though and that’s what the song is all about.”

    Word! Support the troops — bring them home alive.

  39. I’m watching Bill Maher debate Ron Silver on CNN right now… Performers don’t make for good debates – these guys are just all over each other, what with the names and the accusations. Each of these guys has something interesting and worthwhile to say, but to just let them at each other is bad news. Poor Wolf Blitzer prolly saw fewer flames in Baghdad twelve years ago.

  40. I don’t know how expressing your views doesn’t amount to direct action. It’s certainly the least you can do, but we can all do the least we can do, right? And I’m not talking about just the peace movement here, either. If you think Iraq is a direct threat to our security, if you think that Saddam is so evil that the only thing you can do is get him out of power by force, by all means speak up. You can even re-name your side dishes. It’s all political discourse, however infantile or uninformed it might be, and political discourse is a good thing for democracy.

    I’m going to permanently leave this topic behind with two comments. #1 I guess I don’t listen to enough good hip hop, because after another listen to this track, I don’t think it’s awful. Sure it takes some lyrical potshots that are easy to make, but I’ve made ’em before myself. At any rate, not horrible, although I’ll admit that a good song should elicit more than “not horrible”.

    Second, until the inspectors say Iraq is no longer cooperating (even begrudgingly)we shouldn’t start killing folks and getting our own folks killed. Having a massive build-up on his borders is the only thing getting this tyrannical butcher to cooperate, and it may yet come to actual conflict, but I just don’t think we’re there yet, and in fact, I’m much more worried about North Korea and their increasingly belligerent stance coupled with our refusal to hold direct talks. It’s a scary world, people, but I don’t think our agressive and arrogant stance is making it any safer.

  41. If the US needs Iraqi oil, The Beastie Boys need this war even more. How else would this group of has-beens break into the limelite, even if it is for only 15 minutes. It doesn’t get any worse than this so-called song, or should I say rap cuz they gots so much to say. Thanx for da schoolin in politix y’all. No blood for oil! Y’all be all clever n shi!

  42. This sound is unlistenable. It is shit. The lyrics look like they are written by a uninformed high school kid. If this what the rest of thier record going to sound like…you expect to see this guys sleeping in the park. Talk about who is really having a mid life crisis.

  43. It won’t really matter if people are pro-war, anti-Iraq, anti-war, etc. It’s simple reality. If America chooses to act like an empire instead of a democratic republic, even in the name of justice and ‘goodness’ over evil, there is no strategic way it could ever work. You can’t even talk of the war with Iraq without truely mentioning The Project for the New American Century and the plans to use Iraq as a center point to remake the middle east. There are around 270 million americans, including the elderly, babies, etc. And about 6.45 billion others on the planet. The U.S. armed forces are already reduced to 50% reserves. The truth is our army has been shrinking and shrinking since Vietnam. So we can try to return this to a democratic Republic, or we can wait for the anthrax, bubonic plague, dirty bombs, etc. from increasing hatred from every single direction. In fact nuke all the middle east if you want. Then you will be dealing with terrorists from all over the rest of the globe. Nuke the world then, you will have revolutionaries rise in your own country. No empire in history has ever lasted, period.


    Signed by Dick Cheney, Jeb Bush, and many others. The plans for all of these wars that are now beginning have been on their tables for a long long time. The Imperialistic steps are already being taken by the U.S. Either we remake our government into a body for the people, or watch and see what unfolds. And in truth, no wonder why the Beastie Boys feel they need to rush out with any song that can say anything at all, even if not their best by all means. This is more important than our ego contests. Remember your constitution made this a country for you the people. You don’t simply elect the momentary king who does what they feel best in their own interest. Read your constitution.

  45. Is it really possible to single out a single rap track as bad? I mean, doesn’t the entire genre suck?

    BTW, ask an Iraqi expat what he or she thinks of the coming war. Those of you who only started reading newspapers a year or two ago and who still get most of your information from your favorte musicians may be surprised.

  46. the beastie boys have been one of a few american bands, going in its third decade, in the past 17 years or so. they deserve some slack to be cut for them, regardless of anything else.

    sonic youth is the only one i can think of.

  47. Yo,

    B-boys! “Straight up with polka dots” (De la soul). All I can say is that I ran a tornado drill with my second graders and during the drill a comment a teacher made was Iraqi kids were doing the same drill but not for a tornado. Reality mo fo’s.

    Bobby Dale

  48. More of the “war for oil” crap? Listen to Dennis Miller; “If the best argument you can come up with is no war for oil, get a pitbull lawyer and sue your school district for robbing you of the eductation you deserve”. I guess to the Beasts and the rest of you, torture, rape and murder are OK. As long as there’s a Republican President. Open your eyes people. It’s easier to get through life that way. The Beastie Boys are idiots.

  49. Do you people live in a dream land? Do you know where you got your freedom. War. That’s right. Good men and women died to give you the right to your loud mouth’s and stupidity. Now good men and women have arouse again to shed their blood to remove another tyrant in history. Was the free word simply borne out of liberal mind? No. Good people knew the would have to die to free others. Obviously you pacifist pusses couldn’t stand-up for yourselves if you had to.

  50. I’ve got no problem with the Iraqi people standing up for themeselves. I just disagree with sending my cousin and my good friend’s brother over there when there’s no clear and immediate threat to the USA. That’s all I’m saying. There are lots of tyrants in this world, but it’s not the job of the US military to overthrow them all. I truly hope the Iraqis end up with some level of freedom, but we’ll have to wait and see…

  51. True, it’s not the job of the U.S. to overthrow all tyrants in the world. BUT, Saddam is more than that. He Supports terrorism (Paying Palestinian suicide bombers’ families for their acts), plus he opened himself up by invading Kuwait. He agreed to a U.N. resolution to disarm, then kicked out inspectors. His scientists who got out say he’s very close to a nuclear bomb. There are thousands of litres of chemical weapons unaccounted for. And now that the war has started, they are shooting their own people in the back who are trying to flee. If left unchecked, Saddam can be another Hitler, and that’s not an exaggeration. Look online for stories of their torture of their own people, or forcing 10 year olds to fight against U.S. soldiers, or their whole families will be killed, or soldiers grabbing women and children as shields. This man, and I use the term lightly, is one of the most evil men in history. Remember the old saying, “Evil prospers when good men do nothing”. Let the Beastie Boys chew on that for a while. Unless they think these things are OK.

  52. How many times does the “Saddam kicked out the UN inspectors” lie have to be repeated? Saddam didn’t kick out the inspectors! They were told by their own governments to leave Iraq because the U.S. was preparing to bomb it.

  53. Wow Chuck you are a dumb ass. Try looking your facts up. Since the Gulf War Sadam has kicked out the UN inspectors many times.

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