Well after another long hiatus from ‘DROP ON A CLASSIC’ I have returned my deepest apologies I have had a lot going on of late so sorting things out has been hard. But its not about me its about showcasing this great music and the story behind it. So this time we got Charizma and Peanut butter Wolf. These two guys are one of my favorite musical duos of all time and I feel they deserve my respect massively for getting me through so many tough times and great times with their crackin music. So here comes the breakdown but first I thought I would put in my favorite track for you check out and vibe to while yall read the first part.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Methods.mp3″ text=”Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf – Methods” dl=”0″]
Charizma : Charles Hicks
Real hip hop sometimes comes from strange places. For instance, Charles Hicks, a.k.a. Charizma, from the tiny San Jose suburb of Milpitas. Here is a kid who grew up with three primary concerns – hip hop music, sweets, and apple juice. By sweets, I don’t mean the kind that you buy at the 7-11. And the apple juice, only Martinelli’s uncarbonated.As for the hip hop, it was MC Shan, KRS One, EPMD, Big Daddy Kane, the Biz, and anything else available to a 14 year old kid in Milpitas in the late-1980s. That was enough to get Charizma (then “Charlie C”) rapping at high school talent shows.
Peanut Butter Wolf : Chris Manak
As a young kid growing up in San Jose, Chris Manak sought out an escape from 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.
The Duo Forms :
In 1990 Charizma then only 15 met Peanut butter Wolf then 19 and formed a firm friendship and started collaborating, recording several demos and performing live in the San Jose area.
Click Image To Watch Recording Footage From 1992
After hearing Charizma on San Jose State’s KSJS 90.5 FM, Matt Brown approached Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf, offering to become their manager. Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf agreed and began looking for a record label. After entertaining offers from some major record labels, including Columbia Records, they signed with the Disney-owned record label Hollywood Basic, now Hollywood Records.
While signed to Hollywood Basic, Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf recorded several tracks but Hollywood Basic never released an album because of creative differences between the themselves and the label. Charizma stated, “The stuff we wanted to do was not what Hollywood wanted. When we first got signed they kept asking us for more and more songs. After we got signed they were turning things down left and right. They were talking about bringing outside producers – but Pete Rock & CL Smooth never had outside producers, Gang Starr never did. It’s like they almost liked the image (of us) more.”
Only a promotional cassette with the single “Red Light, Green Light” and a flexi disc with the single “Jack the Mack”, that was featured in an issue of the Bay area hip-hop zine Bomb Magazine, was ever released while signed to Hollywood Basic.
Click Image To Watch Video For Red Light Green Light
Even without having released an album, the duo still gained a following. They routinely performed live in the Bay area, toured Germany with label mates Raw Fusion and were featured in Billboard Magazine. They also opened for both Nas and The Pharcyde, but the conflicts with Hollywood Basic’s executives continued and they were soon released from their contract. Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf were still collaborating when it was cut short as Charizma was shot dead in a mugging on December 16, 1993.
Peanut Butter Wolf retained the tracks recorded while signed to Hollywood Basic and after founding his own record label, Stones Throw Records, posthumously released an EP called M-Town and the full length Big Shots LP in 2003, over 10 years after the tracks were originally recorded. Big Shots, even though it was a stylistic throw back to early 90’s era hip-hop, was well received by critics and fans alike,reaching number 3 on CMJ Magazine’s hip-hop chart.
Peanut Butter Wolf and his label as many of you know has gone from strength to strength releasing a whole host of great music by many great musical talents. and fostering a reputation for giving the artists carte blanche on creating their music. I feel this attitude possibly comes from trouble PBW and Charizma encountered with Hollywood Basic and him not wanting other recording artists to go through the same. This has no doubt paid off producing some of the best music many of these I need not mention as I’m sure they re integral parts of your music collections.
And now onto some of the samples used to create some of this great music maybe it’ll surprise you maybe it won’t but there are some real beautiful jems here. So read on peeps!
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Jack-The-Mack.mp3″ text=”Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf – Jack the Mack” dl=”0″]
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/04-Butter.mp3″ text=”A Tribe Called Quest – Butter” dl=”0″]
A Tribe Called Quest’s track ‘Butter’ is used only briefly in Charizma and PBW’s track ‘Jack The Mack’ lifting the title phrase from ATCQ’s track.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/My-World-Premiere.mp3″ text=”Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf – My World Premier” dl=”0″]
The trademark drum break for this whole track is taken from the beginning of the track below though I think has been slightly tweaked to reach the desired effect during production. To find out more on the bad please click the picture and it will take yo to their wikipedia entry. My World Premier has also been sampled itself by other hip hop artist. Such as Encore and UK MC, Jehst.(please click their names to be taken to the specific examples plus their both dope tracks).
Plus I have to say I really like Black Oak Arkansas some amazing musical talent right there so if you feel a bit of 70’s rock check it out.
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Apple-Juice-Break.mp3″ text=”Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf – Apple Juice Break” dl=”0″]
Well this track very simply lifts the music from the track below to make this short musical skit for the album. Click the Image to find out more about Ramsey Lewis (he’s amazing) There is also a really cracking Minnie Riperton version of this track with vocals… It slams just beautiful (click here name to listen).
[wpaudio url=”http://wordisbond.data.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/High-School-Love.mp3″ text=”Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf – High School Love” dl=”0″]
Another crackin sample here click the image to find out more about ‘The Young Holt Unlimited’ a great band with much goodness for ya ears to be found. This track has also been sampled by other hip hop groups, 2 Live Crew being one of my favorites (click name to check it out aswell as clicking the image to find out more from their wiki)
See the beginning of the post if you want to listen to this again before I lay it down. There is a little bit of controversy about which sample is used to make the basic parts of this track but I feel the right one has been chosen below. But in the interest of continuity you can listen to the other candidate here (Its Shuggie Otis – Island Letter. He’s also one of my faves super dope soul vibes). As usual to find out more about the artist click on the picture.
Well that’s about all for this installment. Naturally big love goes out to Charizma REST IN POWER you won’t be forgotten. Big shout out to Peanut Butter Wolf and the whole Stones Throw Crew and may they keep hitting us all up with that dopeness. Peace out from me and everyone at WIB. And as usual any corrections or extra bits of knowledge drop it in the comments box below.