Paul's Boutique

Music Paul's Boutique Beastie Boys (album - 1989)
The Beastie Boys have left their mark on the history of hip-hop and New York City. A city in the form of a playground for the three members of this cult combo, whose music still resonates on the Rivington Street side of the famous Paul's shop printed on the cover of their second studio album.
99 Rivington Street - Paul's Boutique New York
99 Rivington Street - Paul's Boutique New York - Photo Credit : Fantrippers

“Growing up in New York City and hip-hop are two inseparable things, two things that are totally intertwined in our lives.”

Mike D

The Beastie Boys are one of those bands that have been able to get everyone on the same page since their first record. With Licensed to Ill, Mike D, MCA and Ad-Rock took the hip-hop scene by surprise, imposing a unique verve, frantic rhythms and breathtaking glibness. Following this success, the trio intended to go even further in 1989. Under the supervision of the Dust Brothers and Matt Dike, the musicians enter the studio with a strong sense of rage. They came out with Paul’s Boutique, a record whose cover gave rise to a photo session on Ludlow Street.

Behind the lens, photographer Jeremy Shant takes a panoramic shot. A shot inserted in the booklet of the album, of which only the part representing the fake Paul’s Boutique is highlighted on the cover. The Beastie Boys had a sign made that they superimposed on the sign of Lee’s Sportswear, the business located on the corner, where today you can taste wraps… When it was released, the specialized press celebrated the record and even qualified it as the “Sgt Pepper of hip-hop”. In spite of this, the Beastie Boys were not accepted by the public. It is therefore to time that this courageous and aggressive work owes its salvation. Today, the public and the critics have finally agreed: Paul’s Boutique is a masterpiece whose cover alone captures the essence of a certain New York at a time when the possibilities seemed infinite.


A total of 105 songs were sampled for the purposes of for the album Paul’s Boutique.

99 Rivington St

The intersection of Rivington and Ludlow Street, where Paul’s Boutique was temporarily located, is one of the key places on the Lower East Side. A neighborhood with a fascinating musical history.

If the fake Beastie Boys store has now been replaced by a restaurant, the street-art work of artist Danielle Mastrion, dedicated to Mike D, Ad-Rock and MCA, on Ludlow Street, reminds us that the place was once a hotbed of talent of all kinds.

Rivington and Ludlow were frequented by painters, poets, punks and rappers alike, and helped shape the New York scene. It was not far from the intersection that the Velvet Underground made its debut.

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By Gilles Rolland

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Passionné de cinéma, de rock and roll, de séries TV et de littérature. Rédacteur de presse et auteur des livres Le Heavy Metal au cinéma, Paroles de fans Guns N' Roses, Paroles de fans Rammstein et Welcome to my Jungle : 100 albums rock et autres anecdotes dépareillées. Adore également voyager à la recherche des lieux les plus emblématiques de la pop culture.

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