July 25 will mark the 33rd anniversary of the Beastie Boys sophomore album, Paul’s Boutique. To celebrate, New York is giving them a unique honor that will forever preserve that album, particularly the cover, in history.

Masao Nakagami
Masao Nakagami
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Called the “Sgt. Pepper of Hip Hop,” Paul’s Boutique is the 90th most critically acclaimed album ever and placed #125 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. The two years that went into recording the album after the Beastie Boys breakout debut was entirely worth it – Paul’s Boutique stands as a masterpiece of sampling to this day with huge hits like “Shake Your Rump,” “Car Thief,” and (one of my all-time party favorites) “Hey Ladies.”

Proud New Yorkers, the Beastie Boys had to show off their city in a big way. Almost as iconic as the music itself is the 1989 album cover – featuring the intersection of Rivington and Ludlow on the Lower East Side. While Paul’s Boutique was not a real store, (the sign was hung only for the cover shoot at a real store called Lee’s Sportswear) the album gatefold shows a panorama of the whole intersection. This spot has become an NYC must-visit for all Beastie Boys fans.

Capitol Records
Capitol Records
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A mural of the trio was put at the intersection to commemorate their career and the album, but borough residents wanted permanent recognition from the city and have been campaigning for more since 2014.

How is New York honoring MCA, Adrock, Mike D, and Paul’s Boutique?

Passed on July 14th, the intersection of Rivington and Ludlow is now officially Beastie Boys Square. They’re only the 55th people to be honored in such a way by New York City, and are the first modern musical act. Pretty much everyone else on this list is a war hero or politician. The street sign placement ceremony and dedication date will be announced at a later date.

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