The Chicharones

The Chicharones

 Portland, Oregon, USA
BandHip HopComedy

Individually, both have a large following, but as a team, these guys buzz harder than a three day bender. Relentless touring and a live show that combines humor, melody and dance moves with boundless energy, has made the Chicharones repeat customers wherever they go.


Josh Martinez, proud Canadian, got his start touring North America at the height of the Anticon 'revolution' of the late 90s. Named to Urb’s Next 100, Martinez started his own record label, Camobear Records, and released all 5 of his titles and sold 40,000 albums worldwide. Stealing shows and hearts, Martinez has become a touring legend, spending the better part of the last five years in bars, barns and boozeries throughout the world, leaving behind legions of fans wherever he goes. Having toured Europe twice, Josh has built a sizable overseas following on the back of Buck Up Princess, released in 2004 through Bella Union/V2 Europe. He is also the lead singer for rock group “Pissed Off Wild,” a four-piece giant killer of a band that is currently recording their opus.

Sleep is a rapper’s rapper, a man’s man, and one of the nicest guys ever. He does magic, keeps a bunch of tropical fish, and looks almost exactly like a young Paul Simon. He also happens to be one of the best rappers out there. Mixing incredibly complex vocal chops, with wit, charm and a musicianship inherited from his father, a long time bassist in blues and mariachi bands, Sleep is the consummate vocal technician. But live, Sleep is a different beast entirely. With a ‘shock and awe’ precision flow, Sleep has stolen shows performing alongside the biggest names in Hip Hop including 50 Cent, Aesop Rock, Snoog Dogg, Atmosphere, Blackilicious and Swollen Members. And on top of all that, Sleepy’s 10 year old daughter needs braces, so you know he’s hitting the road to make that happen.

Individually, both have a large following, but as a team, these guys buzz harder than a three day bender. Relentless touring and a live show that combines humor, melody and dance moves with boundless energy, has made the Chicharones repeat customers wherever they go. The Chicharones are like nothing you’ve ever heard, yet instantly familiar. Their raps are blazing, the melodies evoke early Beach Boys, the mood, totally infectious.

Their 2003 debut album, Boss Hogs (Camobear Records), hit The Industry’s glass house like a ton of bricks. This ten song masterpiece features the party anthems, complex storytelling and innovative song writing that’s become the trademark ‘Chichis’ sound. It has sold over 5000 copies worldwide, and has been downloaded by hundreds of thousands more. The kids love it. Their parents love it. Even the critics love it. And now the big wigs are starting to catch on.

Their 2006 release, When Pigs Fly (Camobear/Bella Union/V2), is a fiendish tour de force. Its an album about pulling off the big deal, hitting it big, and doing the impossible, and with this album, Sleep and Josh Martinez do just that.

Since then, the boys have been busy pushing their solo careers, where both have seen much success. Martinez's World Famous Sex Buffet (2008) has seen huge success in the North America college radio market, and is still building buzz with multiple remixes and videos still being released. Sleep's latest "Hesitation Wounds (2009), is being released on Strange Famous Records and is already seeing a heavy buzz on the blogs and online.

So in the midst of all this chaos, the boys got back together and put together an opus. Swine Country was released in the fall of 2009, and the EP has brought renewed awe from the gathered masses.

This, their finest work to date, will surely catapault the Chichis to dizzying heights of stardom, full of rock star haircuts, smash hits and celebrity betties, then into designer drugs and matching dance moves, followed by a booze-fueled decline and eventual irrelevance. But one thing’s for sure, The Chicharones fiery fifteen minutes of fame will be a thing to behold.


Pork Rind Disco

Written By: The Chicharones

The Chicharones - Pork Rind Disco
Verse 1 - Sleep
Welcome everybody put down your problems for a minute
There’s a party going on get into it…
It's a pork rhyme disco, quick like pistol Pete,
It’s Sleep from Chicharones/ a quick son o' Nabisco.

Get it or don't, my hand print embedded in stone/
At 307 Ouray, I let the senator know/
We need the medicine grown/ all our benefits gone/
Someone said it before and they couldn't be wrong/

Just want to kick one of those fun raps/
The result after I smoke a hundred and one dub sacks/
I sit still but my brains on spinners/
I got more raps (wraps) than Atkins fast food dinners/

I’ll fold you like sword making/ I don't give a damn (dam)
I’m gonna flood the market with whatever I’m saying/
Gangsters lean, ballers bling,
Yo that kid Sleep he's just doing his thing....

When you go to the chicharones show
All the girls look like Charlie’s Angels
The champagne flows into Whiskey Rivers
The atmosphere’s electric its risky business…

Verse 2 – Josh Martinez
Hey I ain’t looking for a buddy or a pal
You don’t know me and you don’t know my style
We came to bring the name a little bit of fame
Chicharones, take it home sicker than a vagabond.

We do it for the crowd they do what they please
Some nights they shout back sometimes they cackle and tease
We do it for the kids and the days of the breaks
Be just about over lick the glaze off the cakes.

Put the shine in they mind cause that’s all it takes
A little ambivalence leads to mistakes.
End it now before the bender breaks the bow and renders
Everything it touches obsolete out of date out of style

I’m a model citizen put a bottle in my hand,
Put the can to the throttle man I thought you’d understand.
Lend a hand when its time to get bent head over heels
You look fantastic tell me how that feels

We rock the shows/ it’s not enough to just blow off steam
And throw in the towel still we throw up the owl…blow!

Verse 3
JM: Got no gold but I wear slick suits,
With a crisp gold tie and snakeskin boots
S: And he's aboot to tear a hole in the mic/ and I’m about to get down
Man we winners at life/
JM: Just beginners at state dinner and foreign affairs/ diplomatically immune to your chrome and crosshairs.
S: How dare them thinking pointing a weapon at me would make me blink/ I dodge their little bullets with ease/
JM: Keeping the peace, needing release, impeding the beast/ the squeaky wheels creaky let it get a little grease…
S: Just want to rest my head on a bed of green leaves/ that I can roll up and smoke good when ever I please/
JM: Forever at ease/ we keep it cool like the breeze/ be feeling real good right now/ and how!
S: We prove it/ through making good music/ one of the coolest unions/ together we're here to make you lose it

Breaking Point

Written By: The Chicharones

Martinez verse:
I been up and down these same damn roads, nothing ever seems to change
You Grow a little older, then one day the strange becomes mundane
Though I don’t know how folks can do it day after day
what does it feel like/ to be here and not feel right/
does the feeling frighten or does it serve to enlighten?

I don’t know alla the details of the day
But I felt that it wouldn’t be wrong to bow my head and pray
Cause there’s nothing out here, but busted trucks, empty beers and rusty nails
Broken bottles, boarded up houses and these worn out old man tales

And I’m not sure that I can go on with my day
Can’t get lost, in the sauce, can you please meet me half way
I could drown in this old playground where the streets don’t have no name
where all my friends skipped town or went to jail or they snitched to hide their shame.

I’m Running out of patience, this close to breaking
Take away this cloud’s rain, and make me go crazy
Can’t get outta this rut (2x)
Gotta pick my self up (2x)

I could leave it wouldn’t matter cause nobody notices me
Shrieking at the laughter casue inside I’m sad and lonely

But what can I say (hey)
got music to make (make)
Got open dead of strengths
And set of standards to break
Are you ready. Take five.
And we’re ready to play.
My people feel what we saying
we gonna give it to ya!

Sleep verse
The weather man said mostly rain again (damn)
Take that winter and stick it where the sun don’t shine.
Trying to find the benefits in the grey state of mind
Isolated in my Mellon colly confines

And I’m turning into Migrate an aging think-tank
Today faded on tomorrow’s daybreak
To chase, if I stay awake Naps to compensate
Bastards play keep away with contracts I’m after.

How to adapt. Forgot about that
On the fast track to disaster pass my salary cap.
Tapped out and cash strapped no change between cushions
No way I’ll keep looking won’t play the game crooked

The queen killed my rook don’t want to stay so fuck it
I sacrifice my piece the heart of my sleeve tuck it
Muzzled those words, utter bums, so puzzled
And tongue twisted I’m done with it and it’s just begun.


The Chicharones: (all releases on Camobear Records)
Swine Country LP -2009
Swine Country EP - 2009
When Pigs Fly LP - August 2005
Pork Rind Disco EP - 2005
Josh Martinez & Sleep are The Chicharones - 2004
Boss Hogs EP - 2003

Josh Martinez:
World Famous Sex Buffet - 2008 (Camobear Records)
Splitsville - 2006 (Camobear Records)
Midriff Music - 2005 (Camobear Records)
Buck Up Princess - 2003 - (Bella Union/V2)
Made in China - 2001 - (Camobear Records)
The Hooded Fang - 1999 - (Camobear Records)

Hesitation Wounds -2009 (Strange Famous Records)
Combination Locked w Zelly Rock (Camobear Records)
Christopher - 2005 (UpAbove Records)
Riot by Candlelight - 2002 (Stuck under the Needle)

Set List

A typical set from the Chicharones is between 40-90 minutes and includes a swath of songs from the first 2 albums (Boss Hogs & When Pigs Fly) and the forthcoming full length hit-fest "Swine Country." There are covers of Eye of the Tiger and Miracle worker, as well as George Michael's Faith. There is lighting and stage movement, coordinated dancing, temptations style doo wop harmonies, and most importantly, magic. Of the three members of the group, two are former pro magicians, so there is levitations, illusions, card tricks and quick change activities.