1. ‘Brass Monkey’ by Beastie Boys
It’s an obvious observation, but this song came out before the Internet. Which means that I – like tens of thousands of 12-year-olds in 1986, I would imagine – was unable to immediately figure out what the hell the B Boys were whine-shouting about. I’ll admit it: I thought the rap was about a monkey. Then, in high school, I learned from friends that a Brass Monkey was a sort of gutter mimosa – malt liquor and O.J. Gross. Then, in college, thanks to the World Wide Web, I discovered the source of that funk-skronk horn: Wild Sugar’s deep-disco cut, ‘Bring It Here.’ Rad. And they say friends are better than the Internet.