Diving under

Underground hip-hop label utopia for indie artists

BY MATIAS CARVAJAL
STAFF WRITER

Chris Manak, a.k.a. Peanut Butter Wolf, a.k.a. Folerio, is the man behind the very essence of Stones Throw Records. Stones Throw Records is an American independent record label based out of Los Angeles, which began as a hip hop dream lab, housing some of the brightest minds of hip hop MC’s and producers in the industry. The company is currently one of the most successful indie labels on the market but still remain housing underground artists, as it does not get enough media attention.

To anyone who does not follow hip-hop, the MC’s and groups are something like the “Fantastic Four” in the rap/hip-hop community. Stones Throw opened their doors in 1996 as a mean to release Peanut Butter Wolf and Charizma’s classic debut album. Since then, it remained as a label only identified with critically acclaimed acts such as MF Doom, Madlib, Lootpack and Detroit’s own J Dilla. Throughout the years, Stones Throw has managed to successfully cultivate a brand of creative freedom and an approach to music production many today would call both innovative and unassuming to the music industry standards.

To understand Stones Throw, one must first get acquainted with its creator Peanut Butter Wolf (PBW). In the music industry, PBW is seen as one of the few music curators active within the industry. His vast knowledge of music and his vision for music literacy has always been the trait he is best known and praised for.

On the other hand, he is a bit out there for those who do not understand him. In 2002, he signed himself as a new artist under the name of Folerio. He even dressed himself differently when making appearances as Folerio, using a black wig and wearing a little thin pencil line mustache. He recorded one song titled “You’re So Precious,” which was about how much Folerio wanted to spend time with Alyssa Milano, actress known for the television series “Charmed.”

In the song, he describes himself as her soul mate and only candidate for love. Though this is an obvious attempt at comedic satire comparable to the humor seen in Adult Swim’s “Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!,” many people, including some artists close to PBW, have criticized him for it.

Stones Throw in its present day acts as a music utopia for indie artists from all around the country, transcending genres and focusing on making quality music untainted by commercialism and mainstream etiquette. This formula has given Stones Throw artists and PBW the key to success in the industry.