Published Jan 01, 2006The combination of lyricist Charizma and producer Peanut Butter Wolf was a match made in hip-hop heaven. The pair was opening up for the likes of Nas, Black Sheep and the Pharcyde all around the Bay Area in the early '90s and were quickly building a name for themselves on their home turf. Then tragedy struck a few days before Christmas in 1993 when Charizma was killed when he resisted a robbery attempt, silencing a 20-year-old MC with massive potential and putting a halt to Peanut Butter Wolf's contribution to hip-hop.
"I had mixed feelings about putting it out," recalls Peanut Butter Wolf when discussing the ten-year gap in releasing Big Shots, a compilation of finished cuts with Charizma on Wolf's own Stones Throw label. "I didn't want to use his death as a way to get my name out there. It was important for me to prove myself on my own two feet first and put this out later as a tribute." It didn't help that a couple of high-profile deaths in hip-hop occurred just as Peanut Butter Wolf was getting Stones Throw off the ground. "Just seeing Biggie Smalls and Tupac and the way they passed away and all the attention that was given I just wanted to make sure this was done for the right reasons."
The release of Big Shots couldn't have come at a better time; Peanut Butter Wolf broke hip-hop hearts when he retired from producing, and Charzima's legacy has gradually faded from Bay Area memory. With all the reminiscing of the golden age of hip-hop on the minds of fans these days, having a gem like this surface amongst the present day clutter should make people that much more appreciative of Charizma's efforts.