Review of Badmeaningood Album by Peanut Butter Wolf

Peanut Butter Wolf
Peanut Butter Wolf - Badmeaningood Reviewed

03.02.03 Welcome back once again to the BADMEANINGOOD series, an attempt to get to the heart of what Hip Hop means in the 21st century through the ears and minds of some of the music's foremost practitioners.

BADMEANINGOOD gives Hip Hop's freest spirits the chance to refashion the story of Hip Hop in their own personal way, redefining what the genre means by showcasing the music that they feel best sums up what it's all about. This means you might find reggae tracks next to jazz, or rock wrestling with soul, but only if it helps to explain what Hip Hop means to the compiler.

Following the success of the Roots Manuva and Skitz compilations, BADMEANINGOOD is proud to unveil a mix from PEANUT BUTTER WOLF. The Bay Area DJ, record label owner, producer, remixer and record collector has been living life in the Hip Hop lane since he first heard the Sugarhill Gang in 1979. But he knows that Hip Hop isn't just about the beats and the rhymes … it's a sensibility that transcends sound or style.

Peanut Butter Wolf @
Peanut Butter Wolf @

"The main part of Hip Hop to me is the drums," he explains. "Hip Hop was started by a group of DJs who were interested in drum breaks. It was dance music for parties."

So, like a great block party DJ set, PEANUT BUTTER WOLF's mix goes off in several different directions at the same time, a road map of some of Hip Hop's hinterlands the average rap tourist never gets to see. Who but a filthy fingered denizen of the crates would have thought to include prog rockers Iron Butterfly on a Hip Hop compilation?

"I love the confidence in his voice," Wolf explains, and you're reminded that such swagger is a vital weapon in the Hip Hop MC's armoury. But Sheffield electro poppers the Human League? British soul man Joe Jackson?

"'Hard Times' reminds me of when Hip Hop, breakdancing, electro, and new wave were all interchangeable," Wolf explains. "I first heard it played at a Flea Market by a group of Cholos gathered around a boom box, popping to it. It was on a mix tape, but played twice as fast for people to pop to. Back then, they'd speed everything up twice as fast. And Joe Jackson is so funky. The song writing is the strong point. Not necessarily the lyrics, but the chords and arrangements. It's one of those strong emotional songs that makes you feel happy and sad at the same time."

And, of course, there's classic rap too, courtesy of those family enterprises, the Brothers Jungle and Cold Crush. The former's 'I'm Gonna Do You' comes from their inspirational 1988 debut LP, 'Straight Out The Jungle'.

"When people talk about 'forward thinking' and 'genre bending' today," Wolf says, "I think, 'Go back and listen to the Jungle Brothers. Every song on that album influenced the future of music."

Cold Crush Brothers' 'Punk Rock Rap', meanwhile, is a different beast … an ambitious attempt to take a nascent genre into new territory, made by a legendary group whose incalculable importance is probably only now being properly understood.

So what does PEANUT BUTTER WOLF want to say with this mix? What is the one abiding image of Hip Hop he wants the listener to take away from listening to it?

"I think I'd like people to appreciate the similarities between different music and different eras," this open-minded musical evangelist hopes. "To me, Hip Hop is always about digging up stuff people haven't heard and exposing it to them."



Grandmaster Flash New Adventures of Grandmaster Flash 99

Lord Alibaski Top Gun

45 King Funk Box

Iron Butterfly Soul Experience

Johnny Hammond Fantasy

Roy Ayers Cant You See Me

Alicia Myers Don't Stop What You're Doin

Bernard Wright The Master Rocker

The B Beat Girls Jungle Swing

Human League Hard Times

Joe Jackson Steppin' Out

Cold Crush Brothers Punk Rock Rap

Michael White Let Love Be Your Magic Carpet

Prince Far I Black Man Land

Jungle Brothers I'm Gonna Do You

Charizma & PB Wolf My World Premiere

Keni Burke Rising to the Top