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Meaning of the song ‘Intergalactic’ by ‘Beastie Boys’

Released: 1998″Intergalactic” by the Beastie Boys is a powerful space-themed tribute to hip-hop that underlines the group’s unconventional and innovative approach to the genre. With references to classic hip-hop, sci-fi, and their own idiosyncratic style, the Beastie Boys transport listeners into another dimension of rhythm and rhyme.

Starting off with the repetitive “Intergalactic planetary, planetary intergalactic,” the Beasties immediately set up a cosmic theme, underlining their cross-galactic reach and impact on hip-hop. The phrase “Another dimension, another dimension”, adds a layer of depth to this theme, indicating that their music transcends not just geographical boundaries but also dimensional ones, bridging the gap between old-school and new-school hip-hop.

The lyrics “Well, now, don’t you tell me to smile/ You stick around, I’ll make it worth your while”, show their rebellion against artistic restraint. They’re not here to please the crowd; they’ll do it their way, and take you on a journey that’s “worth your while”. Their confidence is evident in, “Got numbers beyond what you can dial/ Maybe it’s because I’m so versatile”. This is their swaggering way of saying they have numerous hits and versatility in their style.

In the line, “From the Hudson River out to the Nile”, the Beastie Boys are saying their reach is global, from New York (where the Hudson River is located) to Africa (where the Nile is). They also give a shout out to another hip-hop legend, Kool Moe Dee, indicating their respect for the OGs of the genre. “Got an A from Moe Dee for stickin’ to themes.”

The verse starting with “We’re from the family tree of old school hip-hop” reinforces their roots in the genre. They describe their music as electrifying and infectious, with “The rhymes will spread just like a pox/’Cause the music is live like an electric shock”. The mentions of classic dance moves, the Wop and the Flintstone Flop further establish their connection with the nostalgic old school hip-hop culture.

The reference to Mr. Spock in “Like a pinch on the neck of Mr. Spock” is an ingenious way of imbibing science fiction tropes into hip-hop lyricism. It also symbolizes how their rhymes can stun listeners just like Spock’s Vulcan nerve pinch from Star Trek.

In the final verse, the lyrics “Super educated, I’m smarter than Spock, Spock/ You ever tell me, you will agree/ Ain’t no brother like the K-I-D” boast about their intellectual prowess and unique abilities as rappers. Using alias “Kid Ad-Rock” suggests they still retain a youthful, playful spirit in creating their genre-bending music.

Overall, “Intergalactic” by the Beastie Boys is a testament to their creativity, wit, and their commitment to pushing the boundaries of hip-hop while still paying homage to its roots.

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