Stones Throw Presents: Peanut Butter Wolf, Prince Paul

Peanut Butter Wolf

You can read more about Peanut Butter Wolf and Stones Throw Records in the History section of stonesthrow.com. But for PB Wolf the DJ/recording artist/producer, here's a quick rundown.

As a young kid growing up in San Jose, Chris Manak soon realized he needed an escape from the realities of suburbian life in the Silicon Valley. The age of nine was his coming of age. This was the year he discovered sports (Pittsburgh Pirates), video games (Pac man), girls (Anita Balderama), and hip hop ("Rappers Delight"). Alongside partner Sweet Steve, young Chris fashioned primitive mix-tapes (using the pause button) and ran amok at the local roller rink.

He took on the name Peanut Butter Wolf in the late-80s when he realized that, in an odd turn of events, a girlfriend's youngest brother feared the "peanut butter wolf monster" more than death itself. Wolf and his more conventionally-named counterpart, Charizma, began recording in 1989 when the two were still teenagers. Within three years, the duo signed a contract with Hollywood Basic (Disney) alongside label mates Organized Konfusion and DJ Shadow. Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf were riding high, touring Europe, receiving press in magazines such as Billboard and (a then newspaper format) Urb, hanging with radio legends Sway & King Tech on Wake Up Show and performing live shows with groups like House of Pain, Nas and The Pharcyde. Then, in December of 1993, Charizma tragically lost his life. Stunned, Wolf temporarily gave up on music.

After releasing the song "Just Like A Test" with Charizma for David Paul's Bomb Hip Hop Compilation early in 1994, Upstairs Records, a label known primarily for house music, approached Wolf to record an instrumental LP. Thus, the Peanut Butter Breaks was born; the record became the Wolf's calling card, leading to meetings and collaborations with like-minded DJs like Q-bert, Cut Chemist and Rob Swift.

After the release of Peanut Butter Breaks, PB Wolf found himself in demand as a producer. His track for the all-scratching compilation Return of the DJ was labeled "incredible" by The Source magazine. He released a 6 song compilation for South Paw Records in 1995, featuring collaborations with up and coming San Jose MCs. He also produced Kool Keith's first single as a solo artist "Wanna Be A Star." These releases, amongst others, led to a picture disc EP for British label 2 Kool Records.

In 1996, Peanut Butter Wolf founded Stones Throw Records. Charizma's posthumous "My World Premiere" was the single to launch the label. A few highlights in the beginning were the songs "Unassisted" by Rasco, Super Duck Breaks LP by DJ Babu, and hip hop 7" series.

Lately, PB Wolf has moved away from producing (save the odd remix or compilation track) to build the Stones Throw label and to travel as a DJ to Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada, and across the US. Through his willingness to experiment and provide Stones Throw's artists with musical carte blanche, he has overseen the releases of Lootpack's Soundpieces, Quasimoto's The Unseen, Breakestra's Live Mix, Yesterdays New Quintet's Angles Without Edges, Madlib's Shades of Blue, and Jaylib's Champion Sound.

Prince Paul

Beginning his career as a DJ for Stetsasonic, rapper and producer Prince Paul has lent his skills to albums by Boogie Down Productions, Gravediggaz, MC Lyte, Big Daddy Kane, and 3rd Bass, among others. Paul's big break came when he produced De La Soul's 3 Feet High and Rising album. Shattering the acknowledged rules of hip-hop production, he sampled not only funk, but all types of music to create fresh and original backing tracks. By throwing in comedy sketches as well, Prince Paul and De La Soul completely ushered in a new era for hip-hop. In 1994, Paul returned to rapping, joining RZA and Stetsasonic member Frukwan in Gravediggaz, a side project that debuted with 6 Feet Deep. He also began working with the new elite in underground rap, recruiting the Automator, New Kingdom's Scott Harding, and Spectre for his debut solo album, 1997's Psychoanalysis: What Is It? A Prince Among Thieves followed in 1999, and later that year Paul formed Handsome Boy Modeling School with the Automator to release the album So...How's Your Girl?. His own Politics of the Business, another concept album that was more bitter than biting, surfaced in 2003 (a year after a second Handsome Boy Modeling School album), and was followed by 2005's Itstrumental, as well as the archival compilation Hip Hop Gold Dust

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Stones Throw Presents: Peanut Butter Wolf, Prince Paul

Tuesday, October 8 · 8:00 PM at 285 Kent