Back in the 1990s a tune from L.L. Cool J called "Year Of The Hip Hop" got played on the radio, but never got an official release. For many years there were rumours of it finally coming out, but then in 2011 it actually happened.
The label that sorted it out offered a limited run of 10 test pressings signed by K-Def, the producer who originally made the beat for the track. They did a regular release too, but these were the super-rare collectible copies. I happened to be at my PC when the label sent out a mass email saying that pre-orders were open and when I went to their site, the 10 test pressings hadn't sold out so I decided to buy one for $100. A few minutes later it had sold out.
A few weeks later, the postman knocked on my door and handed me a package with this attached to it: -
The package was absolutely soaked through, like it had been dunked in a bath for a week. I let it dry out and took the record out, but it looked like this: -
The sleeve was all bent and was falling apart and the ink on the sleeve had run.
So I contacted the label and they said that only 10 copies were made and they were all sold, but they would replace the sleeve for me. Either that or I could return the record for a refund. As the record itself was fine, I decide to get the new sleeve.
The label emailed me and asked what I'd like K-Def to write on the sleeve, so I emailed back and said "just a general message is fine". Bear in mind that they knew my name was Steve and so the message was to be signed to "Steve". They had a new sleeve made up and sent it off to K-Def to sign. He sent it back to them signed "to Barry". LOL.
Much love to Slice of Spice (the label) as they've been great, but damn, I don't have much luck with these rare purchases!