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The Chicharones - Named after a crispy fried pork skin snack, didn't you know?


Feature: Jack Foley

HIP-hop duo, The Chicharones, look set to become the new word in cool hip-hop, if the vibe surrounding their Pork Rind Disco EP is anything to go by.

Comprised of Sleep and Josh Martinez, The Chicharones are two internationally renowed and individually successful solo performers, whose combined project seeks to combine addictive melodies and clever and humorous songwriting, with an accessibility that isn't constrained by any particular genre.

It's feelgood hip-hop that can be enjoyed by everyone, devoid of the urban attitude of 50 Cent, The Game and his ilk.

Think early De La Soul, circa Three Is The Magic Number, and you kind of get the general vibe.

Prior to forming The Chicharones, Martinez was already a mover and shaker.

A proud Canadian, he first built up a name for himself touring North America in the late 90s, before started his own record label, Camobear Records, and selling 40,000 albums worldwide.

Never one to rest on his creative laurels, he then became lead singer for rock group, Pissed Off Wild, a rock four-piece.

Sleep, meanwhile, was a founding member of Oldominion.

He describes himself as 'a rapper’s rapper, a man’s man, and one of the nicest guys ever' - oh, and he just happens to look like a young Paul Simon!

His real talent, however, lies in rapping and he has long been hailed for his ability to mix incredibly complex vocal chops, with wit, charm and a musicianship inherited from his father, a long time bassist in blues and mariachi bands.

Such is his emerging reputation, that Sleep has performed alongside some of the biggest names in hip-hop, including 50 Cent, Snoog Dogg and Blackilicious.

Now that this talented duo have teamed up, they are generating a buzz harder than a three day bender, and seek to realise their potential with some relentless touring.

The Chicharones pride themselves on being like nothing you’ve ever heard, yet instantly familiar. Their raps may be blazing, but the melodies deliberately evoke early Beach Boys memories.

Their 2003 debut album, Boss Hogs (Camobear Records), was a 10-song masterpiece featuring party anthems, complex storytelling and innovative songwriting that’s destined to become the trademark ‘Chichis’ sound.

Next up, is When Pigs Fly (Camobear/Bella Union/V2), due for release in August, which is being hyped as 'a fiendish tour-de-force'.

Its an album about pulling off the big deal, hitting it big, and doing the impossible.

And it's designed to mark a second coming, making 2005 a year of the sizzling Chicharones. It's time to get scratching!

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