For more than 15 years, Los Angeles hip-hop label Stones Throw has been one of the most vital independent labels in music. Founded by DJ/producer Peanut Butter Wolf, the label is responsible for releasing groundbreaking albums by J Dilla, Madlib and Madvillain — the collaboration between Madlib and MF Doom — alongside compilations of rare, overlooked funk, soul and hip-hop tracks.
The label recently celebrated their legacy with Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton, a new documentary juxtaposing rare concert footage, archival material and interviews with both the label’s roster and those influenced by its catalog, including Kanye West, Mike D, Questlove and Tyler, The Creator.
While the DVD/Blu-ray is available for purchase on the label’s website, check out nearly 30 minutes of extra footage that didn’t make the final cut exclusively on Rolling Stone above. In Extra Special Loving for the People, producer and director Jeff Broadway culls never-before-seen production outtakes with archival and concert footage. Madlib discusses the necessity of earthquake kits. The Gaslamp Killer delivers an expletive-filled story about walking off the stage while opening for Doom. And in the most revealing segment, Kanye West shares his admiration for J Dilla and how the deceased producer’s sound still permeates his own.
“It’s amazing: How could we lose Biggie, Pac, Dilla, Steve Jobs, Michael Jackson? It almost feels like the Devil’s winning,” West says. “We gotta make music and think, ‘If Dilla was alive, would he like this?’ I have to work on behalf of Dilla. When I put a weird-ass Jamaican sample, it works at first but it’s not until I put the [makes discordant musical noise] that it sounds like art or sounds slightly wrong. And now it’ll go to the radio now that it’s wrong, motherfucker. Now play this. Play this 5-minute song that completely fucks up your programming. The best respect that we can pay to great artists that have inspired us so much is to never sell out.”