Editor’s Note: On Sunday, October 6, KCRW will host a night celebrating one of LA’s most influential record labels, Stones Throw Records. It will include an outdoor screening of the documentary “Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton: This is Stones Throw Records” and opening DJ sets from Garth Trinidad and Peanut Butter Wolf.
In the late 90′s, there was this time in the California hip hop landscape that catered towards those who appreciated lyrics, rhymes and beats.
Groups from the Bay Area began to experiment with an emphasis on production. DJ Shadow, Hieroglyphics, Blackalicious all stood out, but it was the obscure name of a gentleman by the name of Peanut Butter Wolf from San Jose who began to appear in the record bins around BeatNonStop and Aaron’s Records around Hollywood and on the liner notes of compilations and his own releases that always caught my eye.
“Step on Our Ego’s?” was the first 12′ of Wolf’s that I had purchased and there was something about the production and authenticity that I appreciated. Next up it was the late Charizma’s 2003′s release that really struck my ear while a sophomore and hosting my weekly radio show on KCSN.
The label moved to LA and at the time Egon was the label manager. He assisted me in getting all the new Stones Throw records and product. I began to see firsthand just how important they valued their relationship with college radio and DJ culture.
They made us feel connected to the brand.
They began to push new artists on their roster who, at the time, made us scratch our heads – only to get it and appreciate it two years later.
Stones Throw began to develop its roster across the musical board with the traditional boom bap styles of Planet Asia, Guilty Simpson, Madlib, Lootpack to the obscure sounds of Gary Wilson and Koushik.
When you bought or recieved a Stones Throw 12′ or album, you never knew what you were going to get. And this made record shopping and digging fun again.
A few weeks back, prior to recording this mix, I visited Wolf as we explored his product vaults complete with endless vinyl.
You got a sense that this was his trophy room or a time capsule of his love and joy all sealed and placed in record sleeves.
He played new projects from groups such as the Doobie Sisters, Boarwalk and The Stepkids.
You could hear his passion for these future releases. You could hear the passion for the future of Stones Throw! I’m looking forward to watching “Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton” to actually get a glimpse inside the head of Wolf and hearing exactly how he made all this happen!