(Update: January 12, 2024) Thanks for your patience to everyone who submitted. Peanut Butter Wolf and the Stones Throw team watched every one of the hundreds of beat submissions over the holiday break and have finally narrowed it down to our favorites. Originally, we were only going to give away 3 prizes for our Stones Throw Beat Battle as part of our Roland SP-404MKII collaboration, but there were so many great submissions that Wolf insisted we shout out 10 more runners-up. We’ll be reaching out with $100 USD gift cards to each of these selections.
As for the Top 3, Amber Navran will be taking home the grand prize of her very own Roland SP-404MKII Stones Throw Limited Edition. Prizm Wizard came in 2nd place with a prize of a $300 USD gift card to the Stones Throw store, and nikodim0s placed 3rd, winning a $200 USD gift card. You can check out all of our selections in these Instagram recap posts.
From Peanut Butter Wolf:
“I started making beats and DJing in 1985. Run DMC was the benchmark. Hard, programmed, electronic drums and guitar or horn stabs scratched in live. By 1987 I moved to Long Beach for college and got my first sampling drum machine, the Casio RZ-1 (I just named my first son who was born 2 weeks ago “Casio”). I started recording songs with a rapper from Wilmington called Spunky Spunk Dog and really wanted to make a record.
I read an ad in the classifieds of the local weekly about a rap contest where the winner got a record deal. I entered with Spunky and paid the $200 entrance fee. You had to put your 4 best songs on tape and mail it in. We only had 3 songs though, so I wrote my own rap and recorded it over my beat (Spunky was nowhere to be found that day.) We didn’t win anything, but I did get a call from the contest organizer who told me he liked the songs – especially the 4th one. I felt like I had almost made it. Six years later, I told Charizma about the contest and he made me spit my verse for him. After laughing about it, he used part of my rhyme in the song “Methods” (even when we fall asleep, dreamin’ of the usual, a rap beat).
As I went through 200+ entries last week, I couldn’t help to think about teenage me entering a hip-hop contest in 1987. I only listened to around 20 at a time and took breaks in between so I wouldn’t get sick of listening which would negatively affect whoever was next. I purposely didn’t watch any of the videos upon the first listen because I didn’t want to be influenced by how someone looked, how old or young they were, how they dressed, etc.
Narrowing down the final 20 was a real challenge. In the end, I didn’t wanna cap it at 3 winners so we decided to acknowledge and reward 13 instead of 3. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of talent that entered in the end. Maybe we should do a vinyl release of all the winners, but curious to hear some thoughts on that. Thanks again to everyone who submitted! I wanna do it again.”
Last month we released our Roland SP-404MKII Stones Throw Limited Edition with sample packs from J. Rocc, Sudan Archives, Mndsgn, Kiefer, and DJ Harrison. The response from the beat community has been overwhelming and LA folks got a chance to witness our new 404 in full effect at our Los Angeles launch event. With our stock on the verge of selling out, we wanted to give you a chance to win one of our last machines.
So today, we’re launching the Stones Throw Beat Battle with a grand prize of one Roland SP-404MKII Stones Throw Limited Edition. Beatmakers up for the competition are required to make a beat using one or both of Mndsgn and Kiefer’s soundbanks from the Stones Throw 404. These soundbanks will be made available to the general public for the first time outside the Stones Throw 404 presets.
Here’s how you can win. Starting Friday, December 1, 2023, make an original beat using elements of the soundbanks from Kiefer and/or Mndsgn and upload a video of you creating or playing the beat to Instagram, TikTok, and/or YouTube Shorts. Tag @stonesthrow and use the hashtag #StonesThrow404. Submissions end Friday, December 15, 2023 at 11:59pm PT.
We’d love to see you use a 404, but you are free to use any production tools and equipment to get the job done. Most important is to be creative and have fun. Submissions will be judged by Peanut Butter Wolf based on overall originality, creativity, and the use of the contest sound bank. Additional consideration will be given to the originality of the visual component.
The winner will be announced on Wednesday, December 20, 2023. In the meantime, check out a recap from our launch event below and scroll further down for full contest terms and conditions.
Photo: Oscar Genel
Stones Throw Beat Battle 2023 Terms and Conditions
1. Contestants to make an original, 60 – 90 second sound recording “Beat” incorporating elements from the “Contest Sound Bank”, which shall be one or more of the unique sound banks on the Roland SP 404 MK II Stones Throw Limited Edition. Stones Throw shall make the Contest Sound Bank available as a free download to contestants on www.stonesthrow.com upon commencement of the Beat Contest.
2. The Beat Contest will be announced and commence on December 1, 2023.
3. The last day to consider a Beat entry will be December 15, 2023.
4. To be considered for the Beat Contest, entrants must submit their Beat via a “Social Post” on Instagram, TikTok, and/or Youtube Shorts while using the original hashtag: #StonesThrow404.
5. Entrants are encouraged to make their Social Post creative and original. The visual element of the Social Post may include the entrant performing and/or making the Beat.
6. Beginning on December 16, 2023, a panel of judges from Stones Throw Records (including Peanut Butter Wolf) will review and evaluate all Social Post entries submitted with the hashtag #StonesThrow404. The “Criteria” for evaluating the Beat submissions shall include overall originality, overall creativity, and creative use of Contest Sound Bank. Additional consideration will be given to the creativity of the visual component, the number of likes and shares on the social platform, and the use of Roland products in the making and/or performance of the Beat.
7. The Top 10 Beat submissions “Finalists” will be announced before December 16, 2023, on Stones Throw’s social media. Peanut Butter Wolf will make a “Final Evaluation” of the 10 Finalists using the Criteria above and determine the top three entries. The Final Evaluation will take place before December 20, 2023.
8. The contest winner selected in the Final Evaluation will receive a free Roland SP 404 MK II – Stones Throw Limited Edition. The second and third-place entries will each receive a vinyl pack of five records and a t-shirt selected by Stones Throw.
9. Disclaimer: This contest is being organized, overseen, and administered solely by Stones Throw Records, LLC. Roland Corp is in no way responsible for or involved with this contest including judging winners or awarding prizes.