(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party!)
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You Gotta Fight For Your Right to Party!
"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)"
Beastie Boys YGFFYRTP.jpg
Single by Beastie Boys
from the album Licensed to Ill
"Paul Revere"
Format7-inch, 12-inch
Rick Rubin
Beastie Boys singles chronology
"Brass Monkey"
"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)"
"No Sleep till Brooklyn"
Audio sample

"(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party!)" (sometimes shortened to "Fight for Your Right") is a song by American group the Beastie Boys, released as the fourth single released from their debut album Licensed to Ill (1986). One of their best-known songs, it reached No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the week of March 7, 1987, and was later named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The song was also included on their compilation albums The Sounds of Science in 1999 and Solid Gold Hits in 2005.


The song, written by Adam Yauch and band friend Tom "Tommy Triphammer" Cushman (who appears in the video), was intended as an ironic parody of "party" and "attitude"-themed songs, such as "Smokin' in the Boys Room" and "I Wanna Rock".[5] However, the irony was lost on most listeners. Mike D commented that, "The only thing that upsets me is that we might have reinforced certain values of some people in our audience when our own values were actually totally different. There were tons of guys singing along to 'Fight for Your Right' who were oblivious to the fact it was a total goof on them."

Music video

The music video for "Fight for Your Right" begins as a mother and father tell their two sons to stay out of trouble while they are away. When they leave, the two boys decide to have a party, hoping "no bad people show up"; this prompts the arrival of Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA at the party. The trio start all kinds of trouble within the house, such as chasing and kissing girls, starting fires, bringing more troublesome people into the house, spiking the punch, smashing things, and starting a massive pie fight. As the pie fight reaches its peak, Ad-Rock, Mike D, and MCA run away, the party having become too out of hand even for them. As the video ends, the remaining partygoers shout along to the final chorus of "party!" before hitting the returning mother in the face with a pie.

Directed by Ric Menello and Adam Dubin,[6] there are numerous cameos in this video, including an unknown-at-the-time Tabitha Soren, Robert John "Mutt" Lange, Def Jam label mate LL Cool J, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, members of the punk rock band Murphy's Law, as well as the Beastie Boys' producer, Rick Rubin, who was shown wearing an AC/DC and Slayer shirt, the latter of whom were also signed to Def Jam at the time.

Soren, whose hair was dyed blonde for the shoot, got her chance to be in the video because she was a friend of Rubin's and attended nearby New York University. "I worked hard at not getting any pie goo on me," she recalls, because the whipped cream used had been scoured from supermarket trash cans since there was no money in the budget for it. As a result, it was rancid and had a foul odor. "The smell in that room, when everyone was done throwing pies, was like rotten eggs. You wanted to throw up."[7]

Fight for Your Right Revisited

In 2011, Adam Yauch directed and wrote a surreal comedic short film entitled Fight for Your Right Revisited to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the original video's release. The short film serves as a video for the single "Make Some Noise" from Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. Most of the non-sequitur dialogue between characters were a result of improvisation by the cast.

Revisited acts as a sequel to the events that took place in the original music video and features Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (played by Seth Rogen, Elijah Wood, and Danny McBride, respectively) as they get into more drunken antics, before being challenged to a dance battle by the future Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA (John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell, and Jack Black, respectively), coming out of a DeLorean.

The short features numerous cameo appearances, some appearing onscreen for only a few seconds. They include Stanley Tucci, Susan Sarandon, Steve Buscemi, Alicia Silverstone, Laura Dern, Shannyn Sossamon, Kirsten Dunst, Ted Danson, Rashida Jones, Jason Schwartzman, Rainn Wilson, Amy Poehler, Mary Steenburgen, Will Arnett, Adam Scott, Chloë Sevigny, Maya Rudolph, David Cross, Orlando Bloom, and Martin Starr, as well as the Beastie Boys themselves.

Although "Fight for Your Right" is not performed, its outro can be heard at the beginning of the short.

Remake versions

Singer/songwriter Cara Quici sampled the song and added new lyrics for her 2013 song "Fight"[8] personally approved by Rick Rubin and licensed by Sony ATV and Universal Music Group. The "Fight" video by Cara Quici features a cameo by Dennis Rodman.[9]


Year Publisher Country Accolade Rank
1986 The Village Voice United States "Singles of the Year" (25)[10] 12
1987 NME United Kingdom "Singles of the Year" (60)[11] 14
1987 Record Mirror United Kingdom "Singles of the Year" (20)[12] 20
1994 Dave Marsh & James Bernard United States "Greatest Eighties Protest Songs"[13] *
1995 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame United States "500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll"[14] *
1998 Triple J Hottest 100 Australia "Hottest 100 of All Time"[15] 38
1999 MTV United States "100 Greatest Music Videos Ever Made"[16] 66
2001 Uncut United Kingdom "The 100 Greatest Singles Of The Post-Punk Era"[17] 50
2001 VH1 United States "100 Greatest Videos"[18] 100
2003 PopMatters United States "The 100 Best Songs Since Johnny Rotten Roared"[19] 99
2003 Q United Kingdom "The 1001 Best Songs Ever"[20] 121
2003 VH1 United States "100 Greatest Songs of the Past 25 Years"[21] 96
2004 Q United Kingdom "150 Greatest Rock Lists" (30 Best Hip Hop Songs)[22] 20
2005 Q United Kingdom "Ultimate Music Collection" (Rap Tracks)[23] *
2006 Q United Kingdom "100 Greatest Songs Of All Time"[24] 51
2006 VH1 United States "100 Greatest Songs of the 80's"[25] 49
2007 Mojo United Kingdom "80 From The 80's"[26] *
2009 The Guardian United Kingdom "1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear" (Party Songs)[27] *
2010 XFM United Kingdom "Top 1000 Songs Of All Time"[28] 191
2014 NME United Kingdom "500 Greatest Songs Of All Time"[29] 166

(*) indicates the list is unordered.

Chart performance

Cover versions

In 1998, the song was covered by N.Y.C.C. whose version peaked at 14 in the UK singles chart.[46]

On August 2, 2009, Coldplay performed an acoustic piano-based version of this song during their concert on the final night of the All Points West concert series as a tribute to the Beastie Boys, who were unable to perform on opening night following Adam Yauch's announcement that he had cancer.[47] The band performed this version again on May 4, 2012, at their concert at the Hollywood Bowl as a tribute to Yauch, who had died earlier that day.[48]


  1. ^ Matsumoto, Jon (May 2, 2012). "The Beastie Boys Provide A License To Party". Grammy Award. The Recording Academy. Retrieved 2014.
  2. ^ Smith, Chris (2009). 101 Albums that Changed Popular Music. Oxford University Press. p. 189. ISBN 978-0-1953-7371-4. the hit single (You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (to Party) was a tongue-in-cheek rap/rock hybrid that largely satirized the white frat-boy audience that made the album such a big hit.
  3. ^ Mitchell, Kevin M. (2003). Hip-hop Rhyming Dictionary: For Rappers, DJs and MCs. Alfred Music Publishing. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-7390-3333-3. The party anthem "(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party!)" by the Beastie Boys blended hard rock and rap.
  4. ^ Stratton, Jon (2009). Jews, Race and Popular Music. Ashgate Publishing. p. 10. ISBN 978-0-7546-6804-6. The Beastie Boys' success came from their acceptance by African- American audiences while making rap understandable to white audiences by combining it with hard rock -- the most important example of this being '(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)'.
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  6. ^ Kaufman, Gil (March 4, 2013). "Beastie Boys Video Director Ric Menello Dead At 60". MTV.com. Retrieved 2013.
  7. ^ Marks, Craig; Tannenbaum, Rob (2011). I Want My MTV: The Uncensored Story of the Music Video Revolution. New York: Dutton. pp. 278-79. ISBN 978-0-525-95230-5.
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  27. ^ "Series: 1000 songs everyone must hear - Part seven: Party songs". The Guardian. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 2014.
  28. ^ "The XFM Top 1000 Songs Of All Time - 200 to 101: 191: Beastie Boys - Fight For Your Right To Party". XFM. Retrieved 2014.
  29. ^ "NME 500 Greatest Songs Of All Time". Rocklist.net. Retrieved 2014.
  30. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970-1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
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External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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