Editors’ Notes A companion song to The Beastie Boys’ “Fight for Your Right to Party,” Anthrax’s 1987 single “I’m the Man” was one of the first rock songs to connect with rap music in an authentic way. As the only one of the “big four” thrash bands to originate in New York City, Anthrax were uniquely connected to the city’s emerging rap scene, which developed concurrently to thrash. Guitarist Scott Ian grew up in Bayside, Queens, just a few minutes from Hollis, home of Run-DMC and LL Cool J. That Def Jam was a subsidiary of Anthrax’s label, Island, only strengthened the association. The Beastie Boys were three young NYC-bred men who made in-your-face and often obnoxious music, and Anthrax saw themselves in the same mold. Thus, “I’m the Man” came off not as a joke but as a message of solidarity. Though Anthrax would never be real rappers, they could create riffs that were even louder and more intense than Rick Rubin’s beats for the Beasties. The result was a song that showed—maybe for the first time—that heavy metal and rap were born of the same underground, anti-establishment attitude.

1
3:03
 
2
3:04
 
3
5:48
 
4
4:39
 
5
5:34
 
6
5:49
 

More by Anthrax

Featured On