This song was supposedly written on a train ride from Philadelphia to New York City. Having played a killer show in Philly, the band was riding the train back home when they noticed some members of the crew were starting to fall asleep. To keep everyone awake, the Beastie Boys started to chant, “No sleep till Brooklyn!”
(The name of the song is also a play on the title of Motörhead’s No Sleep ’til Hammersmith.)
The song is one of the band’s signature tunes and the video features the Beastie Boys when they were young, rebellious, and didn’t care who they pissed off. The video parodied that type of glam rock (think Poison, for example) that was popular in 1987.
The video was directed by Adam Dubin and Ric Menello, who previously directed the video for (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party). Menello also plays the club owner who rejects the band at the start of the video.