Those who try to pigeonhole Stones Throw Records' catalog are almost guaranteed to get it wrong. Even at Stones Throw's inception, DJ and label boss Peanut Butter Wolf (born Chris Manak) probably wouldn’t have guessed that a tiny hip-hop label born in the Bay Area a decade and a half ago could become a tastemaker, risk taker and archaeological site for genres that included shoegaze, soul and psychedelia. From innovative MCs and producers such as Madlib to retro-styled newcomers such as the Stepkids, no two artists here sound alike.
What started as a means of releasing Peanut Butter Wolf’s now-classic debut album with the late MC Charles Hicks (a.k.a Charizma), Stones Throw has grown into a multigeneration, multiracial underground powerhouse prospecting envelope-pushing artists that use classic music from the past, reformatted and twisted to fit the present.
As Peanut Butter Wolf sits down with Pop & Hiss before Stones Throw’s 15-year anniversary party at Exchange L.A. on Thursday, it’s clear that his mission to mine and release the music he loves has been harder -- and more rewarding -- than he'd ever imagined.