Any record shop crate digging Hip Hop head has heard of the California duo of Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf. If you haven’t, here’s a quick run down of what you’ve been missing.
Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf met in 1990 and quickly became friends and musical partners. the started out performing in the San Jose, California area and after being featured on San Jose State’s KSJS 90.5 FM, they were approached by Matt Brown, who became their manager. The duo signed to the Disney owned record label Hollywood Basic, now Hollywood Records. Although they released singles with the label, they never put out an album together because of creative differences between them and Hollywood Basic. Charizma is quoted saying,
“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 and CL Smooth never had outside producers, Gang Starr never did. It’s like they almost like the image more”.
The only releases they put out on Hollywood Basic were 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 Bay Area magazine Bomb Magazine. Even though these were the only tracks they had out, the group had a crazy following. They performed frequently in the Bay Area and toured Germany.
The two were released from their record label in 1992 and continued to create until the untimely murder of Charizma in 1993. He was killed in East Palo Alto, California at on 20 years old. Unfortunately he was shot while in his car as par of a robbery. His killer was arrested that same day. Shortly after his death, his partner Peanut Butter Wolf collected all the music they made that was denied by his record label and put out a posthumous EP called M-Town and a full album titled Big Shots. The LP was released on Peanut Butter Wolf’s own record label, Stones Throw Records. Stones Throw Records is home to Hip-Hop titans MF Doom, Madlib, Quasimoto, J Dilla, Knxwledge and more.
If this article is the first time you’ve heard about Charizma, take time today to listen up on his discography out of respect for the career that was never able to flourish. You wont be disappointed. Rest In Paradise Charizma.