Well, after giving props to Arts & Crafts recently, it dawned on me that maybe there were a few other labels out there that deserved similar affection. Hence, today’s love fest for Stones Throw Records.
As I’ve mentioned lately, probably too much, I have re-fallen in love with hip hop. This is due in large part to the emergence of a new wave of MCs spitting lyrics on fresh and new topics, but possibly more importantly, some DJs that have crate digging capabilities I previously thought impossible. DOOM, Madlib, J. Dilla and cats in that vein, I’m looking in your direction. Imagine my surprise when I discovered damn near all of my favorites of today all happen to have output on the same, glorious Stones Throw Records label.
I first heard of the label when they put out Chrome Children Vol. 1, an Adult Swim mixtape that came out just after the DangerDoom collaboration. Well, that taste led me to dig deeper still, and I’ve been pretty addicted ever since.
Headed up by quite possibly the best named hip hopper of all-time, Peanut Butter Wolf (aka Chris Manak), the label excels at bringing tree blazing, freakalicious hip hop to the masses. Named after an inside joke, the label is based on the principle that they release music they like, the public-at-large’s tastes be damned. The result typically is cosmic slop goodness, plain and simple.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that they’re not just hip hop, either, as signed artists Mayer Hawthorne and Omar Rodriguez Lopez, among others, clearly attest.
What’s more, Stones Throw has to be one of the most fan friendly labels out there today. I cannot recommend enough that you sign up for the mailing list, Twitter feed and anything else they’re pushing. I can’t think of another label that gives away so many free goodies, from a regular podcast (sometimes samplers from upcoming albums, sometimes DJ sets that will blow your freaking mind) to mp3s to instructions on how to make your own Quasimoto Cubeecraft paper toy with brick & cigarette. Seriously, they’re the label that just keeps giving (though I am devastated I didn’t win these kicks).
Here’s just a sampling of some of those aforementioned innumerable free mp3s I know you like so bad.
mp3: Beep 03 (Koushik from Beep Tape)
mp3: Chinatown Wars (Ghostface Killah & DOOM, produced by Oh No)
mp3: Concentrate/The Funk (Oh No from Dr. No’s Ehtiopium)