July 21, 2010

Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf – Big Shots

This is one of those releases where the story behind it often ends up overshadowing the music itself. For those who don’t know, though, Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf were an emcee and producer duo who worked together between 1991 and 1993, recording more than enough material to put together an album. Unfortunately, their work was never released at the time, and Charizma was tragically killed as a bystander during an armed robbery not long after. A few snippets were released in the interim, but it wasn’t until 2003 that Peanut Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf - Big ShotsButter Wolf, now the founder and owner of Stones Throw Records (who released underground classics by artists like Madvillain and J Dilla), finally decided to put the finishing touches on their material and release the album proper. There’s a real old-school vibe to the album, which is full of good-spirited hip-hop party jams that all sound very “of the time”, yet the material never sounds dated (in the pejorative sense of the word). Charizma was a very appropriately named emcee, with his capable flow, youthful sound and fun, feel-good lyricism making him instantly likeable. It’s incredibly sad that he wasn’t able to explore his talent further, but Big Shots makes for an exceptional epitaph.


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