Sleep (rapper)

Christopher Tafoya (born June 2, 1976), better known by his stage name Sleep or Sleep of Oldominion, is an American hip hop artist from Farmington, New Mexico, who is currently based in Portland, Oregon.[1] He is a founding member of the Pacific Northwest hip hop collective Oldominion[2] and hip hop duo The Chicharones alongside Josh Martinez.[3][4] He is currently signed to Strange Famous Records.[5][6]

Sleep performing live in 2011
Background information
Birth nameChristopher Tafoya
Also known asSleep of Oldominion
Born (1976-06-02) June 2, 1976
Farmington, New Mexico
OriginPortland, Oregon
Years active1996–present
Associated acts

Early life

Tafoya grew up in the small town community of Farmington, New Mexico. He is of Mexican descent.[7] At the age of 5, Sleep was already rapping and b-boying with his friends and relatives in the small town, with himself naming Run DMC as an important influence when he first began.[8][9]

In addition to the hip hop he heard early on, his father was a former bass player for blues musician Gatemouth Brown, and would play a wide array of music, from Mariachi, to Blues, to Rock. Sleep also grew up with seven other brothers who all played musical instruments and had a grandfather who was also a multi instrumentalist.[10] Entering the world of rap, he felt that his talents as both an MC and a writer were overly slept on, hence the creation of his name Sleep.[11][12]

Growing up in New Mexico, Sleep went to the same school as Onry Ozzborn, which led them to meet Pale Soul.[13] Together, they formed the group Oraclez Creed, which would later become Oldominion after combining with Frontline (Destro, Nyqwil, and Snafu).[14] After the join, the massive Pacific Northwest hip hop collective grew to over twenty members.[15]

Musical career

2001-2008: Riot by Candelight, Christopher and The Chicharones

Sleep released his debut album, Riot by Candlelight, in 2002.[16] Following the release, he was heavily involved in the multiple albums by Oldominion.[17] In 2001, Sleep met Canadian rapper Josh Martinez by chance encounter at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.[18] Together, the two would create the hip hop duo The Chicharones.[19][20] Sleep's second album, Christopher, was released in 2005 (and then re-released with bonus tracks in 2009).[21]

2009-2013: Strange Famous Records and Hesitation Wounds

Leading up to 2009, Sleep had contacted Sage Francis in an attempt to receive a feature for his upcoming album, which eventually led to his signing to Sage's independent label Strange Famous Records.[22] In 2009, Sleep released his third solo album, Hesitation Wounds. It features verses from Grayskul and Del the Funky Homosapien as well as production from likes of Zavala and Reanimator, among others.[23]

2014-present: Oregon Failure

Sleep's fourth solo album, Oregon Failure, was released on April 15, 2014 on Strange Famous Records as well.[24] The entire album is produced by Maulskull and has features from Onry Ozzborn and Ceschi, among others.[25]


Sleep's style has been described as "having intricate rhyme schemes and rapid-fire delivery," with his lyrics being both witty and personal.[26][27]



Studio albums


  • Chistopher Promo EP (2005)
  • While You Were Sl33ping (2012) (with Maulskull)


  • "Man in a Box / Cats Like Y'All" (2002)
  • "Say Goodbye / The Heat" (2005)
  • "Testimony" (2005)

Collaborative albums

  • S7V7N Days (2002) (with Onry Ozzborn, as Aurora)
  • Combination Locked (2007) (with Zelly Rock)


  1. Spinner - Sleep interview
  2. All Music Guide - mini-biography
  3. Music That Isn't Bad - Swine Flew album review Archived 2013-04-15 at
  4. Indy Mojo - interview Archived 2013-12-30 at the Wayback Machine
  5. Sleep at Strange Famous Records
  6. Willamette Week - album review
  7. "Sleep of Oldominion - Strange Famous Records". Strange Famous Records. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  8. Poet, Todd Jones aka The New Jeru. "An Interview with SLEEP of Oldominion- Interview by Todd E. Jones". Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  9. Fake for Real - interview
  10. "STIFF Licks Closing Party with Sleep and A Gun That Shoots Knives". Retrieved 2017-03-07.
  11. "The HYPE Magazine Interviews Sleep of Oldominion! | @SleepSFR". Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  12. XLR8R - album review
  13. "Onry Ozzborn: The RAPstation Interview". Rapstation. 2015-12-12. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  14. codotusylv. "SLEEP - Interview - Fake For Real". Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  15. "One - Oldominion | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  16. Quinlan, Thomas (October 2002). "Sleep - Riot by Candlelight". Exclaim!.
  17. Exclaim! - Riot by Candlelight album review
  18. URB - album review Archived 2013-12-29 at
  19. Spinner - Chicharones interview
  20. Yahoo Voice - interview Archived 2013-12-31 at the Wayback Machine
  21. "Sleep - Christopher + Bonus Tracks CD - Strange Famous Records".
  22. URB magazine (July 7, 2009). "Sleep - Hesitation Wounds (Review)". URB. Archived from the original on December 29, 2013.
  23. Faraone, Chris (June 16, 2009). "Sleep - Hesitation Wounds". The Phoenix.
  24. Chang, Jason (April 8, 2014). "Crosscheck: Sage Francis & Sleep". URB. Retrieved April 9, 2014.
  25. Tafoya, Christopher (2014). "Sleep x Maulskull - Oregon Failure - Tues April 15th, 2014". Sleep. Retrieved 2014-02-19.
  26. "Sleep of Oldominion - Strange Famous Records". Strange Famous Records. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
  27., HipHopDX -. "Sleep Reflects On His Intricate Rhyme Styles & Touring With Sage Francis". HipHopDX. Retrieved 2017-02-03.
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