Stones Throw Records is one of the most successful and acclaimed independent music labels of our time. They also harbor some of Hip Hop’s most mysterious, illusive, and enigmatic figures, so a glimpse inside of this labels life is more than welcomed. ‘Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton’ hosts an array of musical figures, many of whom stop by just to sing the label praises, the guests range from Common and Questlove to Tyler, The Creator, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West. With most documentaries they start at the beginning and explain how Peanut Butter Wolf, the founder of Stones Throw Records, basically started the label after having some unpleasant bouts with labels and just wanted a place to release the music he was making with childhood friend and MC Charizma. Without giving too much away it eventually reaches the time period most Stones Throw fans know and delves into the likes of Madlib, DOOM, and J Dilla. Keeping these mysterious figures mysterious the documentary doesn’t really release much never before seen footage of these illusive figures, they even borrow footage from DOOM’s Red Bull Music Academy interview instead of showing footage they more than likely have of these figures behind the scenes. They perfectly document the ups and downs of the label the change in musical style and taste and also the redemption of the label while giving an optimistic look toward the unknown future for this collective. The 2 disc special edition ‘box set’ comes with a soundtrack which features a few unreleased Madlib beats, but if you are truly a fan of Stones Throw then you most likely already have every song on the soundtrack in a few different formats (mp3, cd, 45, and probably cassette too knowing their output). One can only look forward to what goodies will be released once this DVD gets a re-issue, Stones Throw never let’s their fans and listeners down with product and this documentary is just another notch under their belt of quality work.
Amongst The Myriad
Legendary drummer and musical monk Questlove has recently stepped into the field of literature. Stepping from behind the drum set and turntables the Roots drummer gives his fans an in depth look into the life of one of today’s most acclaimed musicians. “Mo Meta’ Blues” is Thompson’s memoir and it doesn’t necessarily follow the standard path, there are breaks in the story, tidbits from the co-writer, dialogue, and the very special end-of-chapter “yearly” album shout out section. This section is the place where Questo stops the story to quickly break down each album that came out that year in his life during the story and pay homage to some of the music that helped influence this ground breaking musician. All and all this is a great read for any Hip-Hop or Roots fan but more importantly any fan of music should pick this book up. Like most memoirs it is filled with celebrity run-ins and encounters, and is a true honest glimpse into the brain of a musical genius.
In this clip we have Hip-Hop legends Public Enemy chopping it up with Fab Five Freddy, getting a look at their record collection, old High School, and the famed antics of hype man Flavor Flav who is “on some new stuff”.
A new interview with the two creative geniuses behind this year’s Piñata sit down to discuss the album and a few more things.
Dan Charnas- The Big Payback (The History of the Business of Hip-Hop)
This bible sized book is literally a chronological tale of the growth and evolution of Hip-Hop from conception to full fledged global cultural tidal wave. With a topic this vast a book this big will always to tell to much and not enough at the same exact time simply due to its length. The grand detail and overall story arc covers so much and at the same time may leave the reader wanting more or wonder why in such great detail their favorite obscure artist was overlooked or skimmed past. This is a great book for any true fan of the culture; it may be too much for someone who is just learning about the rich history of Hip-Hop. If the reader doesn’t know who the Beastie Boys are then the detailed story of their discovery and signing to famed Def Jam label may seem like excess. Perhaps the origins of the Wu-Tang Clan may not appeal to fans born in the mid 90’s and raised on “old school” acts like G-Unit (something new comer Chief Keef actually said before about G-Unit). Stories of Ed Lover and the earlier days of Yo MTV Raps and Hip-Hop’s commercial break through to mainstream American television may almost seem like fiction to a younger audience. The entire book is broken up into albums, side A and B included for authentic vinyl heads, and runs all the way up to the present Kanye West days. For those who want to get a better grasp of how Hip-Hop got to become the global force that it is today I definitely recommend this book.