Born from tragedy, Los Angeles-based Stones Throw Records is a robust label with an eclectic catalogue. They’ve spent the last two decades releasing Hip Hop, Jazz, Funk, Soul, Electronic and more.
Label founder Peanut Butter Wolf (Chris Manak) started Stones Throw in 1996. The label began as an outlet to release music created with his late best friend MC Charizma (Charles Hicks). Tragically, Hicks was killed during a 1993 carjacking after which Manak quit making music. Eventually, he decided their music had to be heard and “My World Premier” by Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf became the first release from Stones Throw Records.
22 years later, Stones Throw is still going strong thanks to Manak’s personal connection to the label. Over the years, the label has released renowned albums including: Madvillainy, the debut release from Madvillain (MF Doom & Madlib), the late J Dilla’s Donuts and Yes Lawd! from Nxworries (Anderson .Paak & Knxwledege).
The diverse roster spans celebrated hip hop releases to experimental artists like Gary Wilson. This stems from Manak’s belief of releasing music he believes in versus music that sells. As he puts it, “I may be wealthy someday, but only as an indirect consequence of putting out what I believe to be good music.”
In 2014 the label was featured in Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton: This is Stones Throw Records, directed by Jeff Broadway. The documentary features artists like Kanye West and Common and focuses on the evolution and influence of Stones Throw. 2017 saw the opening of Stones Throw Studios in East Los Angeles offering mixing, mastering and recording services.
More recently, the label has entered a distribution agreement with Redeye ensuring their music will remain readily available to the masses. They’ve also opened a listening bar called Gold Line underneath their LA offices, featuring 7,500 records from Peanut Butter Wolf’s collection. On weekends, Gold Line hosts guest DJs using a no computer, no outside records policy.