Written by Alex Catarinella
Jean-Michel Basquiat is widely known and celebrated for his iconic art. Duh. Everyone (with immaculate taste) knows this. There’s also his highly publicized romance with the reigning Queen of Pop, Madonna, and his time kicking it and creating many a masterpiece with his BFF, Andy f’n Warhol.
Also, sartorial-slaying shout out to Basquiat’s killer style -- his braids, his oversized blazers, his everything. He’s unsurprisingly inspired a sea of artists (and imitators). We also suspect a Basquiat mood board was involved in the makings of The Weekend’s head-turning hairdo.
But did you know that the Brooklyn-born lauded artist was also a kind of incredible musician? Newsflash: In 1983, one of the most influential hip-hop recordings ever, “Beat Bop”, was released. The dizzying/experimental/chaotic jam is a collab between three graffiti-turned-musicians. On the tune, K-Rob and Rammellzee rap rhymes back and forth for eight minutes over Basquiat’s dizzying, ahead-of-the-trend production.
Everyone from Jay Z to Cypress Hill has said that they’re highly influenced by the track, and the song itself was sampled twice by the Beastie Boys. Some have even aptly called “Beat Bop” the Holy Grail of rap records. Oh, and, fun fact: The chaotic, booty-bouncing-inducing gem came to be via a disagreement between Rammellzee and Basquiat, but, through pain comes beauty, am I right?
Leading up to the Alice + Olivia x Basquiat CFDA Capsule Collection launch, we’ve found ourselves blasting this iconic bop all day, every day. Take a listen below. You’re very welcome!
SHOP THE BEAT BOP GLOW-IN-THE-DARK CLUTCH!