Chingo Bling Unlocks Hollywood's Key Club

When last we left Chingo Bling in Los Angeles, he was at his agent's Beverly Hills office, holding out for a better offer for a proposed September tour...


Latino 96.3 studios, Los Angeles, 2 p.m.

Two radio interviews for Latino 96.3 with J Dubs and Sandra Peña are next for Chingo. John T. Edge asks J Dubs why he thinks Chingo is popular among his fan base. He replies that Chingo's music resonates with fans because it "touches on real, everyday things - tacos, tamales, family, and people love the cowboy hat and boots."

Key Club, Hollywood, 4 p.m.

Sound check at the venue. Chingo's drummer Donnie Reyes, formerly of punk band Fenix*TX, is pounding away onstage while the guitarist Dan de Luna warms up. The sound man dials everyone in and gives advice about tonight's show.

The headliners, legendary hip-hop duo The Beatnuts are given the venue's green room, which means Chingo and his entourage get the broken-down, sticker-covered tour bus permanently parked behind the Key Club. Reluctant to enter at first, the band quickly warms up to the old vehicle, which carries more character on its flat tires than any other green room in Hollywood.


Key Club, Hollywood, 12:30 a.m.

Showtime! The room has filled up and chants of "CHINGO! CHINGO!" can be heard backstage. The show is already a success. His fans sing along to his older hits like "What Did He Said" and "Like This and Like That" as well as his newest song "Bottles Up." He plays to the West Coast crowd by covering Eazy-E's "Boyz N The Hood," all while wearing a John Lennon T-shirt and cowboy hat.

The connection he has to his fans is infectious, and everyone in the crowd is laughing, dancing, grinding, and generally having a blast. The Houston Press' sister paper L.A. Weekly was there for a slideshow.

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When he's not roaming around the city in search of tacos and graffiti, Houston Press contributor Marco both writes and points his camera lens toward the vibrant Houston music scene and beyond.