Peanut Butter Wolf’s 888 kicks it at Root Down

It’s not like Peanut Butter Wolf has a lot of time on his hands. The man runs Stones Throw records, in addition to recording, producing, and spinning all over the world. So for Wolf to follow up last year’s 7 days of Heaven with 888: 8 days of music videos at 8 clubs in 8 styles – and no repeats nonetheless – well, god bless him. He’s the Little Prince of scratches.

Thursday night’s set at Root Down at Little Temple Bar in Los Angeles, was to be an hour of hip hop videos. I’ve been Wolf’s little blond shadow this week, following him from club to club. So, I was curious to see what he would break out to wow this crowd of uber hip hop fans. I feared it would be a bit like throwing Wolf to the lions.

With a fervent line snaking around Virgil Avenue, the mood was palpable. These lions wanted beats and wanted them bad. A capacity crowd, which included veteran and legend 9th Wonder, crammed themselves into the tiny room to see what Peanut Butter brought.

PB's decks

As PB stepped up to the mic, the crowd surged forward.

“So far, seven days and I’m here, rocking the same white tee shirt and the same Dodger hat…and I didn’t even know that we got Manny.” A few cheers were heard from fresh Manny Ramirez fans, but the rest of the crowd wanted music.

With a shout out to Dilla to kick things off, Wolf masterfully blended videos new and old, mixing flicks by Snoop Dogg, Wu Tang, and Method Man, with oldies by KRS One and De La Soul. Lest there be neophytes in the audience, he dropped hits by House of Pain, Onyx, and the Beastie Boys, but also broke out MOP, Leaders of the New School, and for the lovers of a high fade, Whistle’s ‘Just Buggin’.

pbw - root down

The crowd was brimming with the kind of excitement only seen in kids on Christmas morning…that or the dudes in line at Best Buy the night before the premiere of the new Halo. However, the greatest testament to Wolf’s set was the complete joy on the faces of his peers. 9th Wonder, Jedi and Rhettmatic cheered him on, rapped along and peppered his scratches with shout outs.

Rhettmatic & 9th wonderrhettmatic and 9th wonder

Wolf finaled his hour long set with a video by Breakestra, featuring Root Down promoter, and Breakestra founder Music Man Miles. He stopped to mention that though he promised to play all hip hop, Breakestra and DJ Dusk were masterful enough to blend funk, soul, latin and jazz and expand the ears of hip hop fans everywhere. So with that testament and a shout out to Dusk, Dilla and Charizma, Wolf ended with some Ruben Blades.

“Damn, it’s hot in here.” PBW exclaimed as he left the stage. “I think I lost five pounds.” Likewise, the capacity crowd who stayed and sweated to the end, probably lost a combined ton in water weight. But that was just an added bonus to a night of electric sweat on the decks.

Oh and a side note – Wolf wasn’t wearing the actual same white t-shirt for the past 7 days. Just like his week of 888 spinning, Peanut Butter Wolf smells like roses.
Peanut Butter Wolf performs his final night of 888 on Friday. For more details, visit stonesthrow.com

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