A live performance from Peanut Butter Wolf is not a typical DJ set: Wolf, aka Chris Manak, will probably not spin much vinyl. He's more likely to create an audio/visual experience comprised of music videos pulled from his personal collection of rare VHS and beta tapes, DVDs, and laser discs.
An evening with Peanut Butter Wolf can feel like a virtual hip-hop history lesson that aims to remind those who attend that hip hop is not monolithic: the music and videos are an archive of the many elements – soul, funk, B-boying – that inform what hip-hop was and is.
The 2013 film Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton documents the story behind Los Angeles-based Stones Throw Records, the label Manek created in 1996 that includes a long list of independent hip-hop, soul, and funk artists like J Dilla, Madlib, Mayer Hawthorne, the Stepkids, Aloe Blacc, Dam-Funk, James Pants, and many others. “The work that Peanut Butter Wolf does I think is, like, necessary,” the rapper Common says at one point in the film.