This Por Que? (Pork Eh?) mix-tape by The Chicharones is a big fucking classic apple pie, the kind you find behind glass cases at diner's across America: conversely, the second you take a bite, you taste bits of sugar-burnt Canadian bacon marinating in the filling. The production is jacked, so the backbone of this record consists of tried-and-true crowd-pleasers. Beats that are so juicy, they've earned their billboard spots for their originals. That's the apple pie.
Problem is, if you're like me, you cannot admit to ever liking a song like "Last Friday Night" by Katy Perry, even though the production is so undeniably hot that you can't help but get a bit excited when it comes on at the club (...after a shot or two). But music means more than dancing to me, so I could never truly like the song, or most mainstream minded songs, because the lyrical content makes me feel like a fourteen year old girl... or, if it's a song such as "Like a G6", like a fourteen year old boy.
Thank the flying pigs, because now we have Josh Martinez and Sleep on the aforementioned songs melding indie rap sensibility with pop accessibility.
Immortal Technique once said, "cuz if you go platinum, it's got nothing to do with luck, it just means that a million people are stupid as fuck." It's too bad that's the case, because there is no reason why this album shouldn't be as large as the originals, as it is actually relatable. Sleep and Josh Martinez are two dudes. That's it. They are rapping about dude things in modern times. Pressure. Work. Love. Lust. Shitty Vices. Fun Vices. Regardless of each songs main theme, throughout the album is an undertone of the occupy movement.
Fortunately, this isn't delivered in a political or preachy manner, which makes it more enjoyable music than lecture. They accomplish this by simply touching on the realities of their situations and presenting their way of life. It's an acceptance that the middle class is being eliminated, and a glorious celebration of being human, alive and living despite these forced societal limitations of class. This is that surprise, that crisp bacon, which seems like it's too big a juxtaposition to make sense in its crust.
The only downfall in the track list is a remix of their previously released single "Guys Like Me". When I say previously released, I mean it has appeared on two official releases already, Sleep's album "Christopher" and The Chicharones "When Pigs Fly". Here we have it once again but in the form of a remix, which comes off as an unnatural pairing forced into existence by the cleverness of the name, "Passin' Guys Like Me By". Just try to guess what beat they picked for it.
A good example of The Chicharones using their authentic experience to approach the songs targeted theme is "Pop the Trunk". We are used to Yelawolf threatening to "pop his trunk" like he will kill you if you get close. The Chicharones, however, don't do that brand of gangster rap. Instead, they flip their own credentials into a threat to other MC's; their trunk is full of the numerous albums they've hustled over the years. "We just got about a thousand copies back from distribution when we wouldn't give the digital to them... don't make me go pop the trunk"
They paid dues and flex that as well as astonishing rap technique. Both sing, both double time, and both hit everything between like few can do, which solidifies their standing as prolific leaders in the world of indie rap.
Sleep's epic 20+ crew "Oldominion" has spawned some of the genres best (Dark Time Sunshine, Grayskul, Barfly), and I bet you didn't know Josh Martinez contributed a song to Anticon's 2001 compilation "The Anticon Giga Single". The two have literally toured the world together, and earned a reputation for intensely energetic shows and tomfoolery. What kind of tomfoolery? Find out how Josh Martinez earned the name "The Peoples Champ."
Por Que? (Pork Eh?) packs a lot of funny surprises, cameos, and quotables, but since it is a free download, I'm not even going to say another word since you have no excuse not to get it now. Unless this review really rattled your cage because you dress like André 3000 and love "T.G.I.F."