Peanut Butter Wolf and Charizma (right)
|Charles Edward Hicks Jr.|
|Born||July 6, 1973|
San Jose, California, United States
|Origin||Milpitas, California, U.S.|
|Died||December 16, 1993 (aged 20)|
East Palo Alto, California
|Genres||West Coast Hip Hop|
|Labels||Hollywood Basic (1990-1993)|
Stones Throw Records (1996-present) (posthumous)
|Peanut Butter Wolf|
Charles Edward Hicks Jr. (July 6, 1973 - December 16, 1993), also known by his stage name Charizma, was an MC from Milpitas, California, United States. He is best known for his work with Peanut Butter Wolf; the two artists formed a duo after meeting in 1990 but their musical partnership was cut short following Charizma's murder in 1993.
Charizma was 13 when he got his first taste for hip hop, and he started rapping at high school talent shows. He was only 16 when he met 19-year-old Chris Manak, also known as Peanut Butter Wolf, in 1990. They became best friends, recording several demos and performing live in the San Jose area.
After hearing Charizma on San Jose State's KSJS 90.5 FM, Matt Brown approached Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf, offering to become their manager. Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf agreed and began looking for a record label. After entertaining offers from some major record labels, including Columbia Records, they signed with the Disney-owned record label Hollywood Basic, now Hollywood Records.
While signed to Hollywood Basic, Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf recorded several tracks but Hollywood Basic never released an album because of creative differences between the artists and the label. Charizma stated, "The stuff we wanted to do was not what Hollywood wanted. When we first got signed they kept asking us for more and more songs. After we got signed they were turning things down left and right. They were talking about bringing outside producers--but Pete Rock & CL Smooth never had outside producers, Gang Starr never did. It's like they almost liked the image [of us] more." 
Only a promotional cassette with the single "Red Light, Green Light" and a flexi disc with the single "Jack the Mack" that was featured in an issue of the Bay area hip hop zine Bomb Magazine were ever released while signed to Hollywood Basic.
Even without having released an album, the duo still gained a following. They routinely performed live in the Bay area, toured Germany with label mates Raw Fusion and were featured in Billboard Magazine. They also opened for both Nas and The Pharcyde, but the conflicts with Hollywood Basic's executives continued and they were soon released from their contract. Charizma and Peanut Butter Wolf were still collaborating when it was cut short as Charizma was shot dead in a mugging outside a church in East Palo Alto on December 16, 1993. His killer was arrested the same day.
Peanut Butter Wolf retained the tracks recorded while signed to Hollywood Basic and after founding his own record label, Stones Throw Records, posthumously released an EP called M-Town and the full length Big Shots album in 2003, over 10 years after the tracks were originally recorded. Big Shots, even though it was a stylistic throw back to early '90s era hip hop, was well received by critics and fans alike, reaching number 3 on CMJ Magazine's hip hop chart.
|Big Shots (with Peanut Butter Wolf)
|Big Shots Bonus EP (with Peanut Butter Wolf)
He died in December . Basically, he was shot and killed. It was just a violent death. I personally don't know all of the details, but from what I understand, a guy basically approached him at a stoplight in East Palo Alto, which was a pretty rough neighborhood at the time. Yeah, from what I heard, he resisted and the guy shot him. Something that no one ever would have expected, obviously.