To the 5 Boroughs

Capitol Records (New Release)
Release date
15 Jun 2004
Running length
15 tracks
Running time


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    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Ch-Check It Out 3:11 304,063
2 Right Right Now Now 2:46 101,309
3 3 The Hard Way 2:48 92,548
4 It Takes Time to Build 3:11 47,787
5 Rhyme The Rhyme Well 2:47 85,911
6 Triple Trouble 2:44 148,504
7 Hey Fuck You 2:21 87,109
8 Oh Word? 2:59 72,908
9 That's It That's All 2:28 77,261
10 All Lifestyles 2:33 79,776
11 Shazam! 2:26 82,545
12 An Open Letter to NYC 4:22 159,475
13 Crawlspace 2:53 77,147
14 The Brouhaha 2:13 78,954
15 We Got The 2:27 74,689

About this album

To the 5 Boroughs is the sixth studio album by the Beastie Boys. The album was released on June 14, 2004 internationally, and a day later in the United States. The album debuted #1 on the Billboard 200 with 360,000 copies sold in its first week. To the 5 Boroughs was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 47th Grammy Awards, losing to Kanye West’s The College Dropout.

Their single “Ch-Check It Out” debuted on The O.C. in “The Strip” from Season 1, airing on April 28, 2004.
This album has been released with the Copy Control protection system in some regions.

The album was the cause of some controversy with allegations that it installed spyware when inserted into the CD-ROM of a computer. The band has denied this allegation saying there is no copy protection software on the albums sold in the U.S. and in the U.K. While there is Macrovision’s CDS-200 copy protection software installed on European copies of the album this is standard practice for all European releases on EMI/Capitol Records released in Europe and it does not install spyware or any form of permanent software.
The album is the first time the Beastie Boys did not work with a co-producer and the second album to feature Mix Master Mike.
As the Beastie Boys were included in the game NBA Street V3, the track “An Open Letter to NYC” was included in its soundtrack.
To the 5 Boroughs has two main themes — a tribute to their home town New York after the September 11 attacks (although, notably, the Twin Towers are on the cover drawing) and a criticism of George W. Bush’s presidency.

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  • versionfiv

    no it isn't. it's not exceptional, it's middling. i really digged it when it was released but havent listened much, or, at all, since. I still like just blaze's remix of check it out though.

    24 Sep 2014 Reply
  • thespeckofme

    Wow. This is *awful*.

    11 Aug 2014 Reply
  • MaxScheffel

    If you ignore the outdated and kind of shallow political messages, it's a pretty good album. Way more stripped down than the two "main" albums that come before and after it. I like Hello Nasty and Hot Sauce Committee more than this, but it works as a little detour and tribute to old-school hip-hop.

    16 May 2014 Reply
  • conditionals

    Ha, imgettinglastfm's posts just show how few people are commenting on this album. Honestly it's one of my most listened to Beastie Boys albums, and probably the one I enjoy the most. It has a very unified sound, and all three of them let fly with some of their most original rhymes. Mike D especially owns this one.

    29 Jan 2014 Reply
  • imgettinglastfm

    This one is it. 5 years straight of commenting on it, but this is another special one. Here it goes. I've listened to this for the first day of school for 10 years straight now, I think. And this is the final one, my last complete school year. Incredible. Thank you so much, Beastie Boys.

    26 Aug 2013 Reply
  • atticus_B

    It's really good. Just open your heads... or check them and stuff.

    3 Jul 2013 Reply
  • Rezzo64


    29 Jun 2013 Reply
  • LukeMaNity

    I think this album is really good.

    6 May 2013 Reply
  • imgettinglastfm

    You know how it goes, I've listened to this for the first day of school for 9 years straight now, I think. But this is a very special one... R.I.P. Adam "MCA" Yauch :(

    20 Aug 2012 Reply
  • KeIemvor

    I agree. I only really love Ch-Check It Out and An Open Letter to NYC, the rest is too unmemorable, beats are more standard hip hop than what we're used to from the guys. It just lacks the diversity and creativity of their other albums.

    24 May 2012 Reply
  • Fuchikoma9000

    Every time I listen to this album, it just flies by, which is good, but... nothing really sticks to me. With the exception of the opening track, I can barely remember what any of the songs sound like after listening to the album. It's an ok album, just not as good as enticing as the others.

    14 May 2012 Reply
  • silverlage


    8 May 2012 Reply
  • SuperChogs

    Underrated album, gotta love the 'Oh My God It's Sasquatch' sample.

    27 Mar 2012 Reply
  • rok2slayr

    my favorite beasties. also feel it's the best.

    13 Dec 2011 Reply
  • imgettinglastfm

    I commented a year, two years and three years ago, and here I go: I've listened to this for the first day of school for 8 years straight now, I think.

    26 Aug 2011 Reply
  • imakeitrainism

    One of their best albums. I don't know why it's so overlooked, like someone else said.

    30 Jun 2011 Reply
  • ABoyNamedHope

    underrated as fuck. hands down, the beasties' best record.

    9 May 2011 Reply
  • leroy573

    shouldn't "it takes time to build" just be "time to build"?

    22 Oct 2010 Reply
  • charliekilo22

    So good.

    14 Sep 2010 Reply
  • imgettinglastfm

    I commented a year and two years ago, and here I go: I've listened to this for the first day of school for 7 years straight now, I think.

    24 Aug 2010 Reply
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