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Peanut Butter Wolf

Job Title: C.E.O

Company: Stones Throw Records

By Richard Bamford | 22 September 2009

First job within the industry - and how you got it?
My first job in the industry was at a record store called Star Records. That was where I started buying all my records at the age of 9 and even as young kids, my buddy Steve (AKA Baron Zen) and I always knew more about the records than the people who worked there. They told me "As you as you turn old enough to work here, you have a job" and they stayed true to their word.

How did you work your way up to where you are?
After the record store, I DJ’d on college radio, wrote for magazines, and eventually worked at a record distributor. From all these experiences, I decided I was ready to do it myself.

What has been the highest point of your career?
Hopefully I haven't reached it yet. It was pretty crazy touring with Dilla, Doom, and Madlib a few years ago.

People you have the fondest memories working with?
I still have a lot of memories of working with Charizma. We were with each other 24/7.

Most stressful part of your job?
It's hard to stay on top of all the emails. I'm usually at least a couple hundred behind at all times, even though I spend a few hours a day.

Best part of your job?
Finding good music and unleashing it to the public.

What would your advice be to people wanting to work within the industry?
I'd say to try to get out of the label side and go somewhere else if it isn't too late.

How has the digital revolution changed your role?
We sell more digitally than we used to, but not enough to make up for lost CD sales. There's no stores left.

Is there anything about the work you’d like to change – and why?
It's frustrating how even at the indie level; people only listen if there's a big buzz on something. Some of the best records I've released are still unknown.

What is the least fondest memory throughout your career?
I've lost four of my close musical collaborators (Charizma, Dilla, Quiz One, and MBJ) all as young adults. Too many unexpected RIPs. And losing DJ AM this month and Roc Raida TODAY is really a shame.

If you weren’t currently doing what you do, what do you think you’d be doing?
I always wanted to be a relationship counsellor. If I left the music industry, I'd do that.

What’s the worst DJ request you’ve been asked to play?
I can get pretty obvious with my song choices as a DJ so no request is any worse than what I play on my own. I remember reading a rant from Z-Trip on twitter towards another DJ for playing a certain song and I thought, "Hey, I played that song last week". When I spin with the videos, I get a little more cheesy than I would if I were just playing audio. With Stones Throw, I'm a music snob, but as a DJ, I've been guilty as charged a few times.

Peanut Butter Wolf’s 45 Live: A Classic Rap Mix is out now on Stones Throw Records.

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