Peanut Butter Wolf and Charizma

Chris Manak, aka Peanut Butter Wolf, is a DJ, hip-hop producer and the founder of hip-hop label Stones Throw Records.

A native of San Jose, California, He took on the name Peanut Butter Wolf in the late-80s when he realized that a girlfriend’s youngest brother feared the “peanut butter wolf monster” more than death itself. He has been active since 1989 when he produced a song by Lyrical Prophecy called "You Can't Swing This". In 1990 he began to work with emcee Charizma, and both of them were soon signed to Hollywood BASIC, a division of Disney's Hollywood Records. Lately, Peanut Butter Wolf has moved away from producing (save the odd remix or compilation track) to run the Stones Throw label and to travel as a DJ to Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada, and across the US. He has overseen the releases of Lootpack’s Soundpieces, Quasimoto’s The Unseen, Breakestra’s Live Mix, Yesterdays New Quintet’s Angles Without Edges, Madlib's Shades of Blue, and Jaylib's Champion Sound.

Charles Hicks (July 6, 1973 – December 16, 1993) a.k.a. Charizma was an MC from San Jose, California, United States. He is most known for his work with Peanut Butter Wolf; the two of them formed a duo together, but their music was cut short when Charizma was murdered in late 1993.

Charizma was 13 when he got his first taste for hip-hop, and he started rapping at high school talent shows. He was only 15 when he met 19-year old Chris Manak a.k.a. Peanut Butter Wolf in 1990. They became best friends, recording several demos and performing live in the San Jose area. 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 artists and the label. Charizma states, "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. Even without having released an album, the duo still gained notoriety. They routinely performed live in the Bay area, toured Germany with label mates Raw Fusion, was featured in Billboard Magazine and 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 the EP M-Town and the full length LP Big Shots 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.


Single: Red Light Green Light

18 Response to "Peanut Butter Wolf and Charizma"

  1. I had never heard of the peanut butter wolf monster... now I'm afraid. I'm going to arm myself with bread and butter.

    Brendan says:

    never heard of them but their good

    G says:

    new one on me as well...

    Ahy says:

    Not bad.
    But what the hell is the peanut butter wolf monster?

    Starting young has given him a lot of talent.

    It's sad about Charizma, but at least Peanut Butter Wolf is doing well.

    Showtek says:

    good sound, not bad at all

    Zahk! says:

    Great stuff! :)

    Anonymous says:

    rip charizma

    iGod says:

    nice post

    another good find, i didnt know most of your latests posts artists existed

    Josh says:

    The home videos are sick. When I first saw him, I was like whatever. But he turned out to be really good.

    tearinox says:

    thanks for the info

    Genunely sweet.

    Egz says:

    Pretty cool sound!

    plumpkin says:

    i dont know why but that sounds funny :D

    TVShows says:

    sooo weird

    Thanks for the find, I never heard of them so I'll look them up sometime.

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