The original issue of the 1983 song “Beat Bop” by lyricists Rammellzee and K-Rob has been heard by many, but held by few. Only a reputed 500 of the song’s initial run, on Jean-Michel Basquiat’s one-off Tartown Records label, were made with jacket cover art by the infinitely influential graphic artist (and moonlighting musician and producer). They remain one of hip-hop’s “Holy Grail” items, selling north of $1,500 if you can even find one. The audio, which clocked in at over 10 minutes, was issued – with no picture sleeve – on Profile Records soon after the Tartown pressings, and went on to influence countless MCs, with its minimal, languishing funk beat (produced by Basquiat) and Rammellzee’s and K-Rob’s next-level lyricism. The picture sleeve version of the release has never been officially re-issued, and this edition, curated by hip-hop historian Noah Uman, goes the extra mile. It features officially-licensed original artwork from the Basquiat estate and a four-panel folded insert with deep background on the original single’s creation, compiled by Andrew “Noz” Nosnitsky – including interviews with many of the artists involved with its production: Rammellzee, K-Rob, Glenn O’Brien, percussionist Al Diaz, Profile’s Cory Robbins and more. Rammellzee left this Earth in 2010 and Basquiat passed away in 1988 – with this deluxe reissue, their important contributions to the formative years of hip-hop on wax are remembered and celebrated. A must-own for any hip-hop purist.