Gazing back a few years ago to the adolescence of new school independent hip-hop we can proudly reminisce on a slightly different picture to the contrast of the current sight of things. ‘Back then’: There weren’t 25 different records coming out a week, Fat Beats only had one store, and Rawkus was being clowned more for the Rose Family than they are jocked for BlackStar today. There was one Company Flow, one Mystik Journeymen, and one J-Live. Now, carbon copies run more rampant than bad deals at a New York City record convention. Each week we all knew what that one really dope record out was and we pumped the fuck out of it. In the midst of the “Braggin’ Writes”, “8 Degrees” and “Negro League Baseball”‘s, was an EP many kids slept upon. “Step On Our Ego’s” on South Paw Records (as well as Peanut Butter breaks) was the introduction to a young beat making DJ with the fucked up name, Peanut Butter Wolf. It wasn’t a year later that we saw the first black plate from the articulate break constructor. The newly formed Stone’s Throw inprint “My World Premiere” was the first in a series of solid West coast indie records. A buzz began to stir, and soon Peanut Butter Wolf was on the lips and ears of DJ’s and know-it-all hiphoppers worldwide. It’s 1999 now, 1 year to 2-G and as of now Stones Throw Records has 16 LP/EP/12″ releases. Ranging from the Rasco full-length banger Time Wait’s For No Man, to the Lootpack’s ever popular “The Anthem” single, even to the Superduckbreaks record that everyone and their dick-riding homey has used in some way, shape or form. So now, the opus that heads across the globe have been waiting for, My Vinyl Weights A Ton, is here, and it’s hot.
My Vinyl… has the variety of a hearty Thanksgiving dinner, utilizing much of the Stones Throw roster along with many of the nations top notch turntable manipulators. The raw and exposed “In Your Area” (featuring Planet Asia) pops the cork off the full length adventure, followed by the lead single tracks “Styles Crews Flows Beats” (featuring The Lootpack) & “Casio” (PB Wolf alongside Beat Junkie Babu). The variations in that 10 minutes alone knock many of 98′s extended players out da box like skelly. Rasco’s outing on “Hold Up” proves just as tight as the better joints from Time Waits For No Man, also the inclusion of last year’s “Run The Line” (which also contains a nice contribution from DJ Q-Bert) makes for additional Rasco/PB Wolf ear candy. Kazi & Encore both rip the mic appart on “Breaks Em Down” and “Mobbin’” respectively on two of the more rugged tracks.
Turntablistically speaking, the album has a nice mixture of straight up ISP-fashion tracks and more melodically driven instrumental joints (a la PB Wolf’s effort on The Return of The DJ album). “Phonies” is an interesting dab of both, flipping samples from A Tribe Called Quest, James Brown , King Sun and others to make for quite a pleasant listen. While “Tale Of Five Cities” pairs 5 different grandmasters together for a 8 and half minute gangbang of the tables and their wax. “Theme From The Peanut Butter Wolf” also scores points for originality and naughty humor.
It is alright to admit that we’ve been let down by many of our past hip-hop heroes. And even though at times it seems like the late-90′s independent new wave seems to be faltering, we can count our lucky stars that there is a Peanut Butter Wolf looking out of us each time. Big up.
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