Stones Throw Records
Year Established: 1996 Genre Focus: Various Website: www.stonesthrow.com
If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. That's the philosiphy Stones Throw Records' founder Chris Manak aka DJ Peanut Butter Wolf put into action in 1996. The San Jose-based DJ/producer had previously recorded his debut album with former best friend and collaborator MC Charizma shortly before the rapper's death in 1993. After a few years of compilation features and short stints with other labels, Manak decided to open up his own operation in order to distribute the release. What started with a single recording has since blossomed into what is now one of the leading names in underground hip hop.
Manak is still very involved in overseeing the label's talent. When once asked about the music released he commented, "I put out what I personally like and save the rest for the other labels out there." Stones Throw has achieved great success over the past 15 years with some of its brightest spots coming in 2004 with the release of Madvillain's debut album, Madvillainy, and the very recent re-issue of J Dilla's album Donuts, which even the impossible-to-please folks over at Pitchfork gave a perfect 10/10. Singer Aloe Blacc, a former client, is the label's all-time highest seller. Other artists with ties to Stones Throw include Dam-Funk, J Rocc, Madlib, Madvillain, Mayer Hawthorne, and Tony Cook.