by Samuel L. Chesneau

"Every Capitol Hill hipster this side of Summit Avenue has an 'I love Prefuse 73' or 'I love Anti-Pop' way of seeing things. Their unintimidating heroes aren't pushing the envelope nearly as much as Madlib, Jay Dee, or Kanye West," notes Karim Panni of the group Boom Bap Project and Stuck Under the Needle, the record label co-promoting the current Stones Throw tour here in Seattle. "Nowadays the underground-rap-loving fan is a creature all its own," he continues, "equipped with graffed-out custom PF Flyers, purple hair, an extra medium shirt with a Mush Records patch, and a thrift-store scarf. These aren't true fans of hiphop. When I see them at one of our shows, I can't get mad at THEM. I just have to come to the realization that in the very near future, those same emo-nerds will be following the next hipster trend."

There are more hiphop artists than Prefuse 73 and Anti-Pop Consortium getting the blessing of the hipster cachet while upsetting the hardcore true-schoolers. Like any genre, though, the bigger the buildup, the bigger the backlash, and as a result, talented artists sometimes receive scorn from purists because of the audiences that embrace them. One artist who arguably fits into that quandary is Peanut Butter Wolf. While not quite as large as DJ Shadow, like the Quannum founder he has great taste in music, possesses a good eye for talent, and is a successful record label owner. The DJ/producer runs Stones Throw Records, an indie known for its collective of crate-digging DJs.

Wolf's new album, Big Shots, will be hitting the stores in December, and it's the lost record he created over 10 years ago with his then-partner, rapper Charizma, who was shot dead at age 19 in a robbery. Considering how personal this release is reported to be--and how long it took to come out--the expectations from listeners are high.

Wolf is currently touring with a couple of acts from the Stones Throw crew, and together they're hitting Chop Suey on Thursday, November 6. Joining Wolf will be Dudley Perkins and a couple of members of the California underground kings Lootpack--namely, Wildchild and DJ Romes. Perkins (who also goes by the MC name of Declaime) is down with tha Alkaholiks and Lootpack, and has a solo career as a singer. He released an album early in the summer that has a real soulful Cody ChesnuTT feel.

Romes and Wildchild will showcase material from the 1999 Lootpack debut, Soundpieces: Da Antidote!, an album that overlaid producer Madlib's talents as a skilled beatmaker with creative samples (which made you overlook Madlib's mediocre rhyme skills), as well as material from Wildchild's latest, Secondary Protocol. While Wildchild and Romes first came on the scene about 10 years ago on Tha Alkaholiks' album 21 & Over, they've always kept it underground, sticking to making music for the old-school b-boys (it's no coincidence that Wildchild will be flying out to Japan to perform at Cros 1's Freestyle Session with Emanon). Wildchild comes from the true-school generation, and it's a crime that it's taken until 2003 for him to drop his solo debut.

With the large number of shows hitting the town this month--from this to the Scratch Tour, the rescheduling of Jedi Mind Tricks, and Brainstorm 3 with Blackalicious and Lifesavas--do your best to not overlook the Stones Throw event, which will be high on both skills and substance.

After hearing a couple of tracks off Jay-Z's Black Album, I understand the heated anticipation surrounding its release. Each song (12 in all) on the record showcases a different producer--one of them is 9th Wonder from the group Little Brother (who made their mark at the Hieroglyphics show last week at the Showbox). Since The Black Album doesn't drop until the end of the month, though, here are a couple of bangers to check out in the meantime: the new Daily Plannet and MF Doom--specifically, Doom's Special Herbs Vol 4-6, which will more than likely get him in serious lawsuits for sample-clearance issues. The one sleeper that I'm feeling the most at the moment, though, is the new J-Live EP, Always Will Be, which was just released by Triple Threat and showcases Live's talent as an MC. He's crafty, he's consistent, and he makes perfect headphone music with solid beats. Definitely check out that one before the man hits Seattle for the Brainstorm 3 weekend.


1. Jay-Z, "What More Can I Say" (Roc-a-Fella)

2. Jay-Z, "Change Clothes & Go" (Roc-a-Fella)

3. Lootpack, "Whenimondamic" (Stones Throw)

4. Vitamin D feat. Jake One, "Enstrumental" (Rhymesayers)

5. Tha Alkaholiks, "WLIX" (Loud)

6. J-Live, "Skip Proof" (Triple Threat)

7. Pigeon John, "Deceptions" (Basement)

8. Daily Plannet feat. Wildchild, "Soul She Feel" (All Natural)

9. J. Sands feat. J. Rawls, "Brains" (B.U.K.A.)

10. Copywrite, "10 Times" (Antidote)