Review Summary: The soundtrack to waking up in your best friend's arms and totally being cool with it cause it's not gay.
Growing up, and to this day, The Fox and the Hound
remains my favorite Disney movie. As a youth, I don’t think I quite understood the underlying themes of segregation and societal judgment, but the honest, heart-melting images of two free-loving naïve youths at play always resonated with me in a way no form of media has reached me since. As I grow older and more cynical, I constantly replay the montage of Tod and Copper frolicking in unabashed friendship, while Big Mama sings, in my head to remind myself that I was once human. It’s an amazing film in the way that it puts on display all the beauty, love, hate and ugliness of which modern society is capable. Although the film’s resolution is crushing, it concludes on a note that tells us that although we may lose our friends and ourselves we will always have our memories.
Now I can’t help but look at Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf, hip-hop heavyweights lost in time, without thinking of Fox and the Hound
. The similarities are both eerie and heartbreaking: Two kids from two very different backgrounds come together to make beautiful music only to be ripped apart by a ***ing bear…err, mugger. The two met in Southern California in 1989, Charizma was 16 and Peanut Butter Wolf (aka Chris Manak aka founder of Stone Throw Records) was 19. They became the best of friends due to their deep love of hip-hop and worked together to record a number of demos until they were finally signed to Disney’s Hollywood Basics label. Unfortunately, this all came to an end in 1993, when Charizma was murdered, at the age of 20. Manak took a break from music until 1996 when he started up Stones Throw Records, and in 2003, almost 10 years after Charizma’s death, he finally released Big Shots
, a compilation of their work together.
It’s obvious from these recordings that Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf share a deep, deep love, respect, and admiration for one another. Manak’s production perfectly compliments Charizma’s flow and Charizma does his best to let the beat breathe and develop its own life before tearing it apart. He rhymes with a confidence that’s self-assured without being the least bit off putting. It seems as though every word and sound was meticulously crafted until perfected and it’s almost painful to think of how much work went in to make everything flow together just right.
plays like the perfect hybrid of East Coast and West Coast hip hop. It combines the carefree attitude of the West while incorporating the lyrical and sonic punch of the East. We may never see a pair quite as talented and likable as Charizma & Peanut Butter Wolf, so let’s take an apple juice break to revel in and pay homage to what we lost.