‘No Sleep Till Brooklyn’: The Story Behind The Anthem

It’s the rallying cry of bands on their way home after a long tour. The drunken chorus of newly minted New Yorkers as they roll over the Brooklyn Bridge at 3 a.m. And now, nearly 30 years after the Beastie Boys dropped the seminal album Licensed To Ill, “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” is the official anthem of the 2013 Video Music Awards.

The Beastie Boys’ debut studio album, Licensed to Ill, dropped in 1986, fresh from the new Def Jam Recordings, which was headed up at the time by Rick Rubin and the Boys’ then-manager Russell Simmons. The record contains some of the band’s biggest hits, including “Fight for Your Right” and the tribute to the borough that many of the guys called home: “No Sleep Till Brooklyn.”

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