Hell Yes
By: Beck Hansen, The Dust Brothers

Written by: Beck Hansen, The Dust Brothers

Alternate Titles:

a.k.a. Hell Yeah
a.k.a. Stoned Junkie

Versions:
  1. Hell Yes (3:17)
    Available on Guero and 3 other releases.
    Credits
    Recorded at: The Boat
    Beck Hansen: Bass, Harmonica, Mix, Producer, Vocals, Vocals (Vocoder)
    The Dust Brothers: Beats, Mix, Producer
    Danny Kalb: Engineer
    Christina Ricci: Vocals (Spoken)
  2. Ghettochip Malfunction (2:39)
    Available on Guero and 6 other releases.
    Credits
    8-bit: Remix
    Beck Hansen: Vocals
    Christina Ricci: Vocals (Spoken)
  3. Gucci Bag in Flames (2:41)
    Available on Hell Yes.
    Credits
    Green, Music & Gold: Remix
    Beck Hansen: Vocals
  4. Fax Machine Anthem (3:07)
    Available on Guero and 1 other release.
    Credits
    Dizzee Rascal: Remix
  5. Hell Yes (Leaked Version) (3:28)
    Available on Guero.
  6. Hell Yes (Surround Mix) (3:17)
    Available on Guero.
Unofficial Versions: [show/hide]
  1. Foxy Lady? Hell Yes! (4:02)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Jimi Hendrix: Mashed
    LCO: Remix (Mashup)
  2. Ghettochip Disaster (3:13)
    Available on Remixx Laws.
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Fischerspooner: Mashed
  3. Hellstop (Clean Edit) (4:09)
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Q-Tip: Mashed
    locK3Down: Remix (Mashup)
  4. Shout, Hell Yes (5:37)
    a.k.a. Hell Yes Shout
    Available on Remixx Laws.
    Credits
    Amon Tobin: Mashed
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Tears For Fears: Mashed
    Aggro1: Remix (Mashup)
  5. Fax Machine Anthem (Dizee Rascal - Hell Yes) / Ghettochip Malfunction (8Bit - Hell Yes) / Hell Yes (2:29)
    Available on Three Steps Beckwards.
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed (Fax Machine Anthem), Mashed (Ghettochip Malfunction), Mashed (Hell Yes)
    Ian Wardle: Remix (Mashup)
 
 
Lyrics:
Hell Yes [Version (a)]:

Looking for my place on assembly lines
Fake prizes rising out of the bomb holes
Skeleton boys hyped up on purple
Smoke rings blow from across the disco
Bank notes burn like broken equipment
Looking for shelter, readjust your position
Thought control, ghostwritten confessions
Two dimensions, dumb your head down
Duck, don't look now, company missiles
Power is raunchy, rent-a-cops are watching
Makin' their dreams out of paper mache
Cliche wasted hate taste-tested

Hell yes now I'm moving this way, I'm doing this thing
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm turning it on, I'm working my legs
Hell yes now I'm calling you out, I'm switching my plates
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm cleaning the floor, my beat is correct

Stretched to the limit, attention spans snap back
Retract, collapse into laugh tracks
Noise response, applause and handclaps
Floodgates open to the sound of the rainbow
Breakin' points on the verge of pointless
Fools anointed to the follower's fanfare
Look for the common, not superficial
Code red Cola War conformity crisis
Perfunctory idols rewriting their bibles
With magic markers running out of their ink
Lives in White Out, turn the lights out
Fax machine anthems, get your damn hands up

Hell yes now I'm moving this way, I'm doing this thing
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm turning it on, I'm working my legs
Hell yes now I'm calling you out, I'm switching my plates
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm cleaning the floor, my beat is correct

Hai
Yea that's it
Yea that's it
Hai
Yea that's it
Yea that's it
YES
I like your bass
Your beat is nice
YES
Hell yes
Hai
Hell yes
Hell yes
Hell yes
Yes
Hai
Ghettochip Malfunction [Version (b)]:

YES

Looking for my place on assembly lines
Fake prizes rising out of the bomb holes
Skeleton boys hyped up on purple
Smoke rings blow from across the disco
Bank notes burn like broken equipment
Looking for shelter, readjust your position
Thought control, ghostwritten confessions
Two dimensions, dumb your head down
Duck, don't look now, company missiles
Power is raunchy, rent-a-cops are watching
Makin' their dreams out of paper mache
Cliche wasted hate taste-tested

Hell yes now I'm moving this way, I'm doing this thing
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm turning it on, I'm working my legs
Hell yes now I'm calling you out, I'm switching my plates
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm cleaning the floor, my beat is correct

Hai
Yea that's it
Yea that's it
Hai

Stretched to the limit, attention spans snap back
Retract, collapse into laugh tracks
Noise response, applause and handclaps
Floodgates open to the sound of the rainbow
Breakin' points on the verge of pointless
Fools anointed to the follower's fanfare
Look for the common, not superficial
Code red Cola War conformity crisis
Perfunctory idols rewriting their bibles
With magic markers running out of their ink
Lives in White Out, turn the lights out
Fax machine anthems, get your damn hands up

Hell yes now I'm moving this way, I'm doing this thing
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm turning it on, I'm working my legs
Hell yes now I'm calling you out, I'm switching my plates
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm cleaning the floor, my beat is correct

Yes
YES
Hai
HAI
I like your bass
I LIKE YOUR BASS
Your beat is nice
YOUR BEAT IS NICE
Yea that's it
YEA THAT'S IT
YES
BEYATCH

Hell yes now I'm moving this way, I'm doing this thing
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm turning it on, I'm working my legs
Hell yes now I'm calling you out, I'm switching my plates
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm cleaning the floor, my beat is correct

HELL YES
 
Gucci Bag in Flames [Version (c)]:

Looking for my place on assembly lines
Fake prizes rising out of the bomb holes
Skeleton boys hyped up on purple
Smoke rings blow from across the disco
Bank notes burn like broken equipment
Looking for shelter, readjust your position
Thought control, ghostwritten confessions
Two dimensions, dumb your head down
Duck, don't look now, company missiles
Power is raunchy, rent-a-cops are watching
Makin' their dreams out of paper mache
Cliche wasted hate taste-tested

Hell yes now I'm moving this way, I'm doing this thing
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm turning it on, I'm working my legs
Hell yes now I'm calling you out, I'm switching my plates
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm cleaning the floor, my beat is correct

Stretched to the limit, attention spans snap back
Retract, collapse into laugh tracks
Noise response, applause and handclaps
Floodgates open to the sound of the rainbow
Breakin' points on the verge of pointless
Fools anointed to the follower's fanfare
Look for the common, not superficial
Code red Cola War conformity crisis
Perfunctory idols rewriting their bibles
With magic markers running out of their ink
Lives in White Out, turn the lights out
Fax machine anthems, get your damn hands up

Hell yes now I'm moving this way, I'm doing this thing
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm turning it on, I'm working my legs
Hell yes now I'm calling you out, I'm switching my plates
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm cleaning the floor, my beat is correct

Yea that's it
Yea that's it
Yea that's it
I like your bass
Your beat is nice
Hell yes
Hell yes
Hell yes
Fax Machine Anthem [Version (d)]:

Hell yes

Looking for my place on assembly lines
Fake prizes rising out of the bomb holes
Skeleton boys hyped up in purple
Smoke rings blow from across the disco
Bank notes burn like broken equipment
Looking for shelter, readjust your position
Thought control, ghostwritten confessions
Two dimensions, dumb your head down
Duck, don't look now, company missiles
Power is raunchy, rent-a-cops are watching
Make your dreams out of paper mache
Cliched wasted hate taste-tested
Hell yes now I'm moving this way, I'm doing this thing
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm turning it on, I'm working my legs
Hell yes now I'm calling you out, I'm switching my plates
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm cleaning the floor, my beat is correct

Stretched to the limit, attention spans snap back
Retract, collapse into laugh tracks
Noise response, applause and handclaps
Floodgates open to the sound of the rainbow
Breakin' points on the verge of pointless
Fools anointed to the follower's fanfare
Look for the common, not superficial
Code red Cola War conformity crisis
Perfunctory idols rewriting their bibles
With magic markers running out of their ink
Lives in White Out, turn the lights out
Fax machine anthems, get your damned hands up
Hell yes now I'm moving this way, I'm doing this thing
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm turning it on, I'm working my legs
Hell yes now I'm calling you out, I'm switching my plates
Please enjoy
Hell yes now I'm cleaning the floor, my beat is correct

Hell yes
Hell yes
Yea that's it.
Yea that's it.
Hai.
Yea that's it.
Yea that's it.
Yes.
I like your bass.
Yes.
Your beat is nice.
Yes.
Hell yes.
Hai.
Hell yes.
Hell yes.
Hell yes.
Hai.
 
 
The Song:

"Hell Yes" is on Guero. It is a funky rap song, very fun. Not many artists rap over funk bass, hiphop scratching, and blues harmonica; but that's what Beck does. Beck had long thought he was never going to rap again. And in fact, before this one, he had not recorded a hiphop song with rapping in quite some time (Vultures-style hiphop was different). Beck explained, "I wasn't sure I'd do any hiphop tracks on [Guero], rhyming and rapping. The Dust Brothers encouraged that, coming from their DJ background." Beck liked this particular track, noting its "bluesy harmonica" meant there was "something gutbucket about it."

Beck explained his raps all tend to be more an evolution of the talking blues, and not from the hiphop tradition. This is why he had not really tackled hiphop in awhile, since current hiphop is more "blinged out," not as fun as it was in the early '90s.

But as it is, Beck did end up tackling rapping again, and "Hell Yes" was the trigger. (He would do it even more on his next album, The Information, so it must have felt good.)

Asked specifically about "Hell Yes," Beck hemmed and hawed a lot, not really sure what to say. "It's kind of one of these venting raps, I think kind of tongue-in-cheek, kind of... sort of... it's hard to articulate." It is not quite as obvious a rap as say "Loser," though Beck did admit here it was "apparent in the lyrics," and was a "silly, goofy look at Reality TV World" and the disposability of current culture.

How does Beck explore "Reality TV World" in the song? Vaguely, but it is there. The opening lines sound like a similar classic Beck party scene (see, "Where It's At," "Beercan," etc.) where the party is in full-swing. But underneath it, it is the result of fake prizes, broken equipment, smoke rings, drugs (purple). In other words, it's somewhat phony. This phoniness continues with rent-a-cops, ghostwriters, and paper mache dreams.

The second verse continues, and reading it now I'm struck how much it reminds me of some of Beck's old folk songs (like "Bogusflow" for instance). It rides through a number of very "Beck-ish" lines, as he distorts phrases before culminating: "get your damned hands up!"

There are a number of official remixes of "Hell Yes." There was an early leaked mix of Guero, and while most songs are the same, the leaked "Hell Yes" was 10 seconds longer than the official version. No big changes, it just continues a little longer instead of fading out.
 
Live:

Played live 184 times:
Earliest known live version: January 28, 2005
Latest known live version: September 15, 2016

SPRING 2005 GUERO TOUR - BOMB HOLE VERSION

Beck and his band played "Hell Yes" regularly on the Guero tours of 2005. It's always nice to get a full band rap song, and Beck has fun adlibbing the chorus (see the box below). Brian LeBarton added the harmonica of the recording while Beck rapped.

SUMMER 2005 GUERO TOUR - BROKEN EQUIPMENT VERSION

In the summer of 2005, as the Guero tours moved on, the song took a slightly different, shorter arrangement. The song would begin with the band beatboxing heavily, as Beck would then rap over that. After the first verse, the music would take over for the beatboxing. This was a cool touch, and made the song a bit more dynamic. The song, however, would end fairly quickly after the second chorus, foregoing all the harmonica and stuff, going straight to the end bass beats. Towards the end of the summer, the band would sort of medley this arrangement with "Nicotine & Gravy" or "Hotwax" (those songs end, beatboxing begins).

2006 INFO TOUR - SMOKE RINGS VERSION

During the Info tours, the song occasionally had the beatboxy medley, but more often seemed to have been played straight. That is, it was full band, the whole way through. (It was still short though, ending right after the second chorus.)

FALL 2006 - GHOSTWRITTEN VERSION

After a short rest from "Hell Yes" at the end of September, Beck and his band, began playing "Hell Yes" in a real-live mashup type of version. That is, the band would play famous riffs such as "Another One Bites The Dust," "Fame," and "Erotic City" while Beck rapped "Hell Yes" over it. This didn't last too long (a few weeks, tops), but it was fun.

FALL 2006 - SKELETON BOY VERSION

There was also a couple of minimal, weird, electro versions of the song around this time. These occurred at some of the "post-show shows" the band would play. (After a real gig, they'd show up and jam at a small bar, with a minimum in equipment and sound quality.) October 13's show in a Mexican restaurant has an amazing "Hell Yes."

2007 - COMPANY MISSILES VERSION

In 2007, Beck did not tour too much, but did stop in Japan. They played a normal band version, but was even shorter most of the time (usually just one verse and a bit of a jam on the chorus).

2008/2009 - GHETTOCHIP MALFUNCTION LIVE

After a few months of the Modern Guilt tours, Beck added "Hell Yes" back into the set. Brian LeBarton cooked up a bunch of keyboard pads and Gameboy sounds and they stood at the front of the stage, playing the buzzing electro beats, while Beck rapped with a headset on. They did this for the remainder of the Modern Guilt tours, sometimes also doing "Black Tambourine" and/or "Clap Hands" this way.

2014 - GHETTOCHIP / PUT YOUR HANDS BAND VERSION
After the first leg of the Morning Phase tour, Beck and his band returned with a handful of new songs to perform. One of those was the "Ghettochip" remix of "Hell Yes," and it was played at almost every night after the first leg. Instead of using Gameboys and individual pads, the band all switched to full synthesizers (even the two lead guitarists). The song sounded full and exciting. At the end of the song, they would morph the song into "Put Your Hands Where My Eyes Can See," the Busta Rhymes classic that Beck has referenced for years. The bassline fit perfectly. (This wasn't improvised, they did the Busta cover every time.)
This may be my favorite arrangement of the song, hands down.

They continued to play this version during the post-Morning Phase tours of 2015 and 2016 as well.
 
Live Chorus Adlibs

March 23, 2005: "Hell yes / I'll bake you a cake / I'll do your laundry" and "Hell yes / now I'm calling your Mom / fax yourself"

March 31, 2005 KCRW: "I'm working my legs, yes you know I am / I'm on KCRW / I got a microphone / I'll bake you a great cake / My beat is correct."

April 6, 2007: "Hell yes / I'm baking my bread / I'm burning my biscuits"

April 8, 2007: "Hell yes / I'm cleaning my jeans / I'm shaving my legs / I'm talking to you"

April 16, 2007: "Hell yes / I'm slapping my bass / In a church"


 
Notes: