Living in the projects, Chino had to hustle to survive. His only escape was music. As a kid, he traveled alongside some of Hip-Hop's most celebrated artists, including Afrika Bambaataa and Ice-T. At 12, Chino began performing at local talent shows in New Jersey and quickly emerged as one of the best lyricists in his neighborhood.
His demos eventually caught the ear of Def Jam founder Rick Rubin, who immediately signed Chino to Def American Records. His first album on Def American, Here To Save You All had an instant impact on the Hip-Hop charts. Chino had found his audience. His premiere single, Kreep peaked at the 2 slot on MTV. Tracks from the album regularly featured on the internationally syndicated Wake Up Show, and his lyrics were placed in the Source Quotables.
With equal amounts of style and substance, Chino incorporates elements of both coasts' sounds into his music. Chino is riveting precisely because he doesnt pull punches and it wasnt long before Chino was recognized and beckoned into the studio by some of the most respected artists in the Hip Hop community. From Travis Barker to Common, from Bun B to the RZA, from Canibus to the Ras Kass, Chino XL has collaborated with some of the greatest names in the game.
It was in the midst of all this success that Chino's attitude towards music changed. "From the beginning, I always thought it was only about the music", said Chino, "But then I started realizing that it wasn't and that is when everything changed".
He decided that it was time to leave the music business. Chino began acting. I wanted to get out and do something new and acting was at the top of my list. Chino's natural talent for acting quickly put him on the map. He starred in films alongside Kate Hudson, Luke Wilson, and Rob Reiner. He also had a recent solo project debut at Robert Redford's Sundance Film Festival.
Nevertheless, even with a solo acting career, Chino never lost his love for music. He began writing new lyrics, with a renewed sense of passion and inspiration. Chino described why he came back, "I was listening to the radio and it sounded like the same ideas and topics were being repeated on every song. I wanted to add something new, so I got to work". He added, "It seems like the stars lined up for me, because I've gotten better, Latins are getting more love in Hip Hop, and the music game needs a new voice with a different type of flavor".
Sway from MTV discussed Chino's new music, "It immediately connected with me in a major way. The music is different from all the other stuff out there. Its not all in one style or genre, its just good music all-around. It has a little bit for everybody. He's a seasoned artist now, and one of the best lyricists of all time, period. Its unbelievable how the man keeps getting better and better".
Chino XL is currently working on a new project, on Bolo Entertainment. He just released a new single "Don´t Run From Me" on which Snoop Dogg features. In February / March he is coming for a tour to rock Europe. The tour is going to be supported by the Wake Up Show!
1996 - Here To Save You All (Def American) features: Ras Kass, Kool Keith
2001 - I Told You So (Warner Bros.) features: B-Real, Kool G. Rap
2006 - Poison Pen (Activate) features: Beatnuts, D12´s Proof, Killah Priest (Wu-Tang)