Get Real Paid
By: Beck Hansen

Written by: Beck Hansen

Versions:
  1. Get Real Paid (4:20)
    Available on Midnite Vultures and 1 other release.
    Credits
    Justin Meldal-Johnsen: Bass
    Mickey Petralia: Engineer, Mix, Producer, Programming
    Tony Hoffer: Engineer, Mix, Producer, Programming
    Beck Hansen: Keyboard / Synthesizer, Mix, Producer, Programming, Vocals, Vocals (Choir)
    Roger Joseph Manning Jr.: Keyboard / Synthesizer, Vocals (Choir)
    Arnold McCuller: Vocals (Background)
    Valerie Pinkton: Vocals (Background)
Unofficial Versions: [show/hide]
  1. Get Invisibly Paid (3:12)
    a.k.a. Get Real Invisible
    Available on Remixx Laws.
    Credits
    Beck Hansen: Mashed
    Fischerspooner: Mashed
    DJ Earworm: Remix (Mashup)
  2. Get Real Paid (2 many dj's Mix) (1:27)
    Available on 2 Many DJ's: As Heard On Radio Soulwax Pt. 5.
    Credits
    Soulwax: Remix
 
 
Lyrics:
Get Real Paid [Version (a)]:

Kick it.
We like the boys with the bulletproof vests.
We like the girls with the cellophane chests.
We like the boys with the bulletproof vests.
We like the girls with the cellophane chests.

I know you really want it 'cause your Daddy's always on it.
And he knows just how to flaunt it. He got pictures in his wallet.
And he wanna be your lover. Does he look just like my mother?
Does he cover you like butter and just leave you in the gutter?

I wanna know if I'm worth your time.
There's so much to do before you die.
Thursday night, I think I'm pregnant again.
Touch my ass if you're qualified.

We like to ride on executive planes.
We like to sit around and get real paid.
We like to ride on executive planes.
We like to sit around and get real paid.

I know you really want it 'cause your Daddy's always on it.
And he knows just how to flaunt it. He got pictures in his wallet.
And he wanna be your lover. Does he look just like my mother?
Does he cover you like butter and just leave you in the gutter?

I wanna if I'm worth your time.
There's so much to do before you die.
Thursday night, I think I'm pregnant again.
Touch my ass if you're qualified.

I know you really want it 'cause your Daddy's always on it.
And he knows just how to flaunt it. He got pictures in his wallet.
And he wanna be your lover. Does he look just like my mother?
Does he cover you like butter and just leave you in the gutter?

I wanna know if I'm worth your time.
There's so much to do before you die.
Thursday night, I think I'm pregnant again.
Touch my ass if you're qualified.

We like the boys with the bulletproof vests.
We like the girls with the cellophane chests.
We like to ride on executive planes.
We like to sit around and get real paid.
 
The Song:

"Get Real Paid" can be found on Midnite Vultures. My personal highlight of the album, this track is crazy funky, with lots of new wave computer keyboards and silly lyrics. It sounds like there was a great deal of effort put in to make "Get Real Paid" sound groin-grabbingly minimalistic.

Surely this is a good example of the fun Beck and friends were having in the studio, using a million keyboard effects, bizarre robot vocals, etc. The end coda is a blast, mixing all three main melodies together to embiggen the song's noble spirit. "I was trying to make it sound like the Teletubbies, if they went electro," Beck explained.

This sort of mechanical grooviness likely evolved from Beck's interest Kraftwerk and Can. Giving a hint as to how "Get Real Paid" was recorded, as well as much of Midnite Vultures, Beck explained,
Later on we went on and added a Kraftwerk element [to "Get Real Paid"]. If I played you the initial version of it, it doesn't sound anything like Kraftwerk. There's one or two little things, but that's five percent of the song; there's the other 95 percent that doesn't sound anything like Kraftwerk.


The beeping pocket calculator effects, sparse haunting rhythm, and the shimmering synth climbs at the end of the song were definitely picked up from Kraftwerk (whether they were literally sampled or a product of influence, I'm not sure). (UPDATE: There does seem to be a sample of Kraftwerk's "Home Computer" on here. Might be others too.)

Lyrically, "Get Real Paid" is a bit of a larf (though it's a perfectly cromulent one). Beck really jumps into his odd Midnite Vultures character, Surrealius. Thus, he continues playing with masculine/feminine norms (as in "I'll do your laundry" on "Nicotine & Gravy," or "I'm a full grown man but I'm not afraid to cry" on "Sexx Laws"). Here though he sounds and acts much more like an androgynous robot trying to get some (mmm, butter), but is a bit unsure on how to actually get it. Confusion ensues.

The moments of confusion are the humor and the highlight of the lyrics. One moment, he likes "the boys with the bulletproof vests," the next, it's "the girls with the cellophane chests." Cheesy misunderstood lines get uttered like "I know you really want it 'cause your Daddy's always on it," or "Touch my ass if you're qualified." Beck was proud of the confusion in the lyrics, "I think it's just a revolving door. None of the lines are specific to each other; you don't know whose relationship is whose."
 
Live:

Played live 146 times:
Earliest known live version: October 10, 1998
Latest known live version: September 11, 2014

Initially, "Get Real Paid" was one of the rarer Vultures songs to hear on stage. However, the song lasted longer than some of the other songs on the album, so now Beck has played it quite a bit. Also the song has proven surprisingly flexible!

Vultures tour 2000

"Get Real Paid" still made it's premiere on stage on January 29, 2000. On the first three legs (44 shows), it was played just three times. Fortunately a nice bootlegs exist of the first two times! Listening to them, I'm not sure why it was played so infrequently. It was quite similar in sound and arrangement to the record�minimal and funky�and even allowed Beck some opportunities for ad-libbing, which is always fun. The ending bit, when all the melodies are going at once, even comes off pretty well.

After these three legs though, "Get Real Paid" finally became a bit of a regular during the final two legs of the Vultures tour (Japan and Europe). These versions were a bit different and a little better than the earlier ones. They were much more hyperactive, sped up, '80s new wave. Gary Numan would be proud! The whole thing is just COOL. My favorite one, highly recommended, is from August 22 2000.

version with the Flaming Lips FALL 2002

Beck played the song a couple of times in Japan of 2001, but mostly ignored the song for a couple of years. Then in the end of 2002, he went on tour with the Flaming Lips as his band. Reportedly, the Lips asked Beck to do "Get Real Paid" specifically... somewhat to Beck's chagrin! The story goes that during their rehearsals, there was a couple of days when Beck was away. While he was gone, the Lips worked up "Get Real Paid," along with "Nicotine & Gravy." The Lips' drummer/roadie, Kliph Scurlock explained, "Those were a couple songs that we intentionally stripped down to nothing and then built back up. When we played 'Get Real Paid' for him, [Beck] was like 'That was really cool! What was it?'"

I can't imagine a cooler song for them to do together. Beck used some sort of robot vocoder on his vocals for the full effect. The only time, to date, Beck and the Lips did a show and did not play this was on the PBS TV show, Austin City Limits. I guess it wasn't an appropriate place for some futuristic robot booty funk.

March 31, 2003

During early 2003, Beck played "Get Real Paid" just once (March 31) with Justin, Smokey, Joey, and Greg. Their version was less mechanical Kraftwerk robot funky and more '70s soul funky. Smokey played the wah-wah funk guitar straight out of Shaft, and Beck used his falsetto voice to cool effect as he slowed the melody down. It's very seductive.

summer 2003

"Get Real Paid" did return to the sets during the summer of 2003. Thank the Flaming Lips for re-introducing the song to Beck! This arrangement sounds very much like the Lips' version of the song. Beck sometimes doesn't sing much either, just let's the dramatic music go.

Guero tour 2005

Beck, at his second show with his new Guero band, played "Get Real Paid." There's an amazing clip of them playing it from March 2005 in a studio, filmed for the BBC in the UK. It's a 7-minute jawn, that begins with Beck at the turntables, scratching, DJ Swamp-style, as one band member plays bass, another drums, and another is banging on some metal can. The song is less mechanical Kraftwerk, and a lot of synth electronic bleeps mixed with hiphop. Beck edits himself on the radio to sing "touch my abs if you're qualified," before he goes over and freaks out on his turntables some more. There is also a new bridge with a cool beatbox rap about "if you want to break it down down down down." It's easily one of my favorite live Beck things ever. And here it is!



Beck took this version to his tour, as well, throughout 2005. He would do this scratching/hiphoppy "Get Real Paid" to close many of the shows, very often inviting audience members to dance in a crowd on stage behind him. The music, the dancing, the absurd lyrics, the turntables... it's a rad party up there, just how Beck shows should be!

random versions in 2006

After no longer using "Get Real Paid" as the party closer of shows, the song was dropped from tour setlists entirely. It did show up at some of the non-tour concerts Beck did in bars and clubs around the US however. At these shows, they didn't use their own instruments, so for instance the version on October 13 had LOTS of vocals, and some piano, some synth effect sounds, and then Beck started to make up guitar bits. It was trying to be crazy hyper, but they just didn't have the tools; still, this is a fun song to try to make up as you go.

2013 pre-Morning Phase tour

After not being played at all in 2008 (Modern Guilt tours, Beck took a few years off the road, eventually doing some sporadic tours in 2012 and 2013. Over a week in November 2013, only on a tour of South America, Beck played "Get Real Paid" four times.

2014 Morning Phase tours

Beck and his band did jump into "Get Real Paid" on his Morning Phase tours on occasion. They did it at the first show in April, but then sat on it for awhile before bringing it back later in the summer 11 more times.