Peanut Butter Wolf Recounts How J Dilla Met Madlib in New Interview

The Stones Throw chief charts the highs and lows of running one of hip-hop’s most influential labels.

Peanut Butter Wolf is the very first guest on Carhartt WIP’s new podcast, RELEVANT PARTIES.

The Stones Throw Records founder offered a retrospective on the Los Angeles-based camp’s come-up and the assembly of an unholy roster in the podcast’s inaugural episode, chatting for north of an hour with host, Chal Ravens.

After detailing early successes, failures, and even a betrayal or two, Wolf recounts how he secured a fan in a young J Dilla, who, at the time, was producing as Jay Dee in Detroit and had taken to Wolf’s 1994 album, Peanut Butter Breaks. Wolf recalls how he linked with Dilla via House Shoes, a local Detroit DJ and record store manager who caped for the young producer at every opportunity. Not too long after that, Wolf came across a 12-inch of Madlib‘s group, Lootpack, and secured a distribution deal with the Oxnard trio, which eventually led to the Bandana producer being recruited as the creative anchor for the next phase of Stones Throw.

Though they had yet to meet, Dilla was already campaigning for Lootpack by the late-90s and Wolf was doing his damndest to get the two of them in the studio together. An early collaboration arrived on Dilla’s J-88 side project, to which Madlib contributed remixes of Slum Village’s “Get It Together” and “The Things You Do.” According to Wolf, the producers’ first in-person session was at an SV show in LA in early 2000. It was a quick in-the-flesh intro that spurred plans for actual studio time to work on Dilla’s (eventually shelved) debut album for MCA. But even then, the timing was off. Wolf and Madlib’s flight to Detroit was on 9/11. And we all know how that went down.

Hear Peanut Butter Wolf recount the full story of how J Dilla met Madlib in the first episode of Carhartt’s RELEVANT PARTIES podcast below. Hold tight for the next installment.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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