Flashback: Beastie Boys Perform “Intergalactic” at the 1998 VMAs

beastie boys 1998 vmas

The Beastie Boys were one of the coolest acts of the ’80s and ’90s, and they were at the top of their game in two performances at the MTV Video Music Awards in the ’90s.

Remember their live version of “Sabotage” from 1994? That’s one that award show junkies will never forget. But their 1998 performance of “Intergalactic” is one that shouldn’t be forgotten, either.

Mike D, MCA, and Ad-Rock bounced all around the stage rapping the memorable track from their album Hello Nasty. Always known for their interesting fashion choices, the Beastie Boys wore orange jumpsuits for the performance.

The Beasties carried a lot of swagger, even as they rapped the ridiculous lyrics of the track, such as “If my rap’s soup, my beats is stock” and “I’ll stir fry you in my wok / Your knees’ll start shaking and your fingers pop / Like a pinch on the neck from Mr. Spock.” It’s hard to imagine another rap artist being able to pull off those sorts of rhymes.

That some night at the VMAs, the Beasties won the Video Vanguard Award, a lifetime achievement honor. The next year, in 1999, “Intergalactic” won the Beasties the first competitive Moonman of their careers, winning for Best Hip Hop Video. They had been nominated five times for “Sabotage in 1994, but lost each time to Aerosmith or REM.

“Intergalactic” also took home a Grammy for Best Rap Performance By a Duo or Group in 1999. “Intergalactic” was the last major hit of the Beasties’ career, and their second-highest charting song, peaking at #28 (behind “Fight For Your Right,” which hit #7.)

The Beastie Boys earned induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, becoming the third hip hop act to earn the honor. Take another look at the “Intergalactic” Video Music Awards performance below.

WATCH: Beastie Boys “Intergalactic” at 1998 VMAs

To read about another memorable VMA moment, see our review of Sinead O’Connor’s performance of “Nothing Compares 2 U” at the 1990 Video Music Awards.

Last Updated on February 19, 2024

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