Do you have rhymes but not the beats to match? Or do you have a deep love for hip-hop but a frustration with the trap-inspired productions on today’s radio? Step into the digital mansion of Château Choló. It’s a palatial production and art platform and record label founded to pump out high-quality West Coast hip-hop beats for aspiring rappers, with a wardrobe of edgy T-shirt prints, comedic kitchen series Cuisine Choló, and the vibrant personalities of two Indy-affiliated content-creators: Gustavo Uribe, our irrepressible writer and administrative assistant, and Isaac Welsh, the similarly individualistic illustrator son of one of our most valued voices, Nick Welsh.
Château Choló’s biggest offering is its beats. Coproduced by Uribe and Welsh, the beats are on sale for rising rappers to rhyme over, fledgling musicians to build over, and for filmmakers to lay over their visuals. The beats, sleek and subtly textured, are organized by BPM and genre. Both Uribe and Welsh have shaped beats since high school, beginning with disparate methods — Uribe a drum machine and groove box, Welsh GarageBand cutups — before arriving at their collaborative sound, somewhere between Dr. Dre and Depeche Mode, said Uribe.
Uribe and Welsh first became acquainted when Uribe needed a cover art illustrator for his excellent new hip-hop album, Cholo 2.0, released this year via Bandcamp. The album is an exciting accomplishment, a visionary blend of West Coast hip-hop and merengue inspired by ’90s acts such as Proyecto Uno, with Uribe’s sun-bright, party-starting, and occasionally politicized persona, Brown Don Johnson, as the rallying emcee (see opening track of the same name, a takedown of Trump’s Mexican wall proposal).
But the album is but one pillar in the foundation of the Château Choló estate, which also serves as a platform for Welsh’s somewhat darkly leaning, urbanized, surrealist cartoon illustrations, now available on T-shirts (Welsh, it should be noted, drew our paper’s snarling mascot, the Angry Poodle.) The goal, ultimately, is to offer something different. “We’re trying to break away from the mainstream sound,” Welsh said. “Screw all this radio play garbage — we want to change up the game a little bit.”
The two mean business — and by the quality of their product and the uniqueness of their sound, it’s only a matter of time before the money starts to stack. Hear their polished productions at chateaucholo.com.