Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Iconic Rammellzee & K-Rob “Beat Bop” Artwork Gets New Life (Audio)

The iconic painter Jean-Michel Basquiat was among many things, a B-boy. The New York City-based artist ran in the same circles as Fab 5 Freddy as well as Andy Warhol before his tragic 1988 death. One of the Brooklyn, New Yorker’s enduring works was designing the cover art to (and producing) Rammellzee & K-Rob’s 1983 12″ single “Beat Bop.” A storied work for its musical content and painting jacket, the Tartown Records (later released on Profile) effort is a major collector’s item in audiophile and art circles even before Rammellzee’s 2010 death.

A vinyl rarity, the effort returns to limited edition—authorized by Basquiat’s estate—thanks to Get On Down Records. The Boston, Massachusetts-based boutique label is offering the work on colored black-and-white vinyl. Previously, the imprint has worked with classic albums by Raekwon, Nas, Fat Boys, and others in fan-aimed reissues. According to press release, “customers can buy the Beat Bop Record Box on its own, or bundled with a copy of Get On Down’s premium picture sleeve reissue of the song, which was first made available on “Black Friday” Record Store Day in November of 2104, and sold out almost immediately.” Previously, the 12″ had never been reissued under license. The G.O.D. reissue includes a special four-panel insert. Compiled by Cocaine Blunts’ Andrew “Noz” Nosnitsky, the panels feature interviews with “Beat Bop” parties involved: Rammellzee, K-Rob, Glenn O’Brien, percussionist Al Diaz, Profile’s Cory Robbins, among others. The 12″ is offered in a metal box, made in the artwork’s likeness.

Below is a photo of the 12″ and custom, craftsman case—which holds 50 vinyl albums:



Limited to 1,000 made, visit Get On Down to get in on something available legally for the first time in more than 30 years.

Related: Wild Styles: Jean-Michel Basquiat & Jacob Lawrence Make History in The New York Times