A Hip-Hop Record That's Designed to Deteriorate

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Cover detail for DJ Basta and Kevin Allen's 'Seed 05' single. (DJ Basta)

When Kevin Allen and DJ Basta debut their new single "Seed 05" this Friday at the Spirit Haus Gallery in West Oakland, it’ll be a record release party—a very limited record release party.

While "Seed 05" will eventually be available on streaming platforms, 20 copies of the single will be distributed on Friday. The records were cut individually, in real time, on Petra-Fi Records' 80 year-old record lathe.

The records are made of polycarbonate material that purposefully wears after a certain number of plays. That may sound counterintuitive, but Allen theorizes that it'll inspire people to actually pay attention when they listen to the five-minute, three-song record. And after that, people can hang it on the wall as an art piece.

This record is a part of a series from DJ Basta's label Roots & Branches, which is creating a 10-piece set known as the Record Box. The series of records will feature local artists and beats by DJ Basta, and each record's cover artwork is drawn from collages made by DJ Basta (see above). So, it really is art.

If you’re a fan of records, rap music or just good vibes, Spirit Haus is the place to be on Friday, April 26. Though the 20 preorders for the "Seed 05" single are sold out, if you have records of your own, they invite you to bring them through so they can play them for the audience. Details here.