It sounds cliché, but many a successful crew began working together by a chance meeting during the hell we call high school. That kid who made the illest beats by banging on the lunchroom table or on the beatbox teaming up with the one lyricist who always stood out in the cipher. Well, the story of ChaRon Don and D.J. Huggy began along those lines. Both graduates of Schenley High School in Pittsburgh, PA, ChaRon and Huggy hooked up after initially migrating from their respective crews at the time. ChaRon, who surprisingly came from "spoken word" roots, parlayed his use of prose to more conventional hip-hop lyrics. The task is easy enough, as many artists feel restricted and sometimes perceived as an outsider spitting poems instead of ill rhymes, sort f like making a 360 from band nerd to jock.

   Entering the Hip-Hop realm as part of the collective known as "Justuce" and shortly after working with "Illogic Rumor." Huggy, on the other hand was the kid with the equipment, therefore he went through a slew of emcees hungry for his minimalistic but raw tracks. The two first showcased their distinctive sound to the masses by taking part in a bi-monthly "lyricist-lounge"-esque show called "Theraputix" at the Kingsley Center in East Liberty section of Pittsburgh. After being together for a mere three weeks they dropped their first "official" release in mid 1999. Investing time and money, burning CD's to the crack of dawn. Camping out at Kinko's, running copies and cutting inserts manually to save a buck. Fairly silent throughout most of 2000, we caught a glimpse of them at the occasional local revue. It was at one of those shows that they impressed Moes of Influential Flavor (a local promotions company) so much that he instantly approached the crew backstage and inked a management contract with no delay.

   Already in the process of dropping a follow-up release, Moes proved to be an integral force in providing the financial backing needed for wide scale distribution. ChaRon and Huggy's release, "Mental Combustion" hit the stores in September 2001 and moved a substantial amount of units. An impressive collection of work from the packaging, to the beats, to ChaRon's ever-changing rhyme flow. "I'm moody, I have an Indian summer type of personality, however I feel in the morning inspires me to write how I write," states ChaRon. Performing a juggling act of sorts, they continued to attend school, work part-time and squeeze out enough time in the day to practice several times a week. More recently ChaRon and Huggy have adopted the name "Hands Down" and are constantly working on new material and perfecting their craft. Huggy works full-time at a local recording studio, I.D. Labs and ChaRon is pursuing higher education while maintaining a part-time job and penning lyrics for the upcoming sophomore, yet to be titled release. Keep an ear out for Hands Down the name says it all.