With the emergence of Rap sensation Snoop Doggy Dogg, and backyard party phenomenon--Sublime, in the early 1990's, the Long Beach music scene received a nation-wide spotlight that was long overdue. At this same time, many "indie" groups were organizing a local movement that had many fans and record companies wondering, "Who is going to be the next big group to come out of Long Beach?" But before these new acts could enjoy their fifteen minutes of fame, the musical setting deteriorated. The politically incorrect lyrics of "gangsta" rap and the unfortunate death of Sublime's front man seemed to mark the beginning of the end. Popular local venues began to shut down and by the mid 90's, Long Beach ceased to be a stage for promising musical talent.
The summer of 1998 conceived Chapter 11. Four musicians, three M.C.'s, and a D.J. are breathing "new life" into a music world gasping for fresh air. Hip Hop and Reggae/Dancehall stylings dominate the sound, but attentive arrangement and lyrical creativity is what gives Chapter 11 a truly unique tone. Sonic distinction combined with a high-energy stage show has produced ecstatic reactions from all types of people. It is not unusual for Chapter 11 to have the "whole place jumpin!".
The four artists that make up the musical core of the group emerged from diverse musical backgrounds. The melodic component of the group, Joe Chang, has been trained classically and incorporates many aspects of Jazz into his keyboard playing. Since imitating the characteristics of Hip Hop with a band is a primary intention, Joe's piano playing is a crucial factor in creating a live "sampled-loop" effect. The rhythmic expressions of Javier Contender account for the low end. In addition to the conventional electric bass guitar, bass lines are also played using a keyboard tone generator. Jungle Josh and Tommy make up the percussive elements. Jungle has a degree in music recording and forges endless remixes of the live songs. Many songs have a live version and a studio version made with sampled drums and music. Tommy's main percussive instrument is the djembe, which provides a deep tone that resembles the classic 808 bass drum. He is also equipped with a slew of other important time keeping devices.
The vocal responsibilities are handled by three lyricists. Scotty approaches his verses with a "ragamuffin" flavor. His precise rhythm and up-beat "bubbling" mingles incredibly with the Dancehall tracks and provides a brilliant contrast amongst the Hip Hop selections. Scotty is also capable of laying down some sweet Reggae melodies for the ladies. The Hip Hop obligations are handled by Stoney. His voicings conversely add style and character to the Reggae/Dancehall vibe. Either in an improvisational skills battle, or on stage, the original alley cat is always ready to drop some science. Kepi is the vocalist that ties these two styles together. He is able to flip the Hip Hop and rock the Dancehall. His whimsical lyrics and positive outlook deliver a distinction that sets him apart from other vocalists. Under the impression of, there is no such thing as Hip Hop without a D.J., XXtreme is used to authenticate the mix. By dropping samples and scratches he is able to turn any situation into a party atmosphere.
Part Two: The saga continues...
The member count of Chapter 11 has been continually growing. Aron Owens (guitarist from Hepcat) has been added to the group and presents a well-refined tone. His background in Jazz and Reggae music has greatly diversified the sound. Solo artist Elliot Ness has joined the ranks as a lyricist. Elliot's rhythmic timing and impeccable mic control has established himself as a true master in the Hip-Hop community. The lovely, Ray, brings the total member count to eleven. Whether harmonizing a melody, or taking a vocal lead, Ray contributes warmth and brilliance to any stage.
We have been welcomed into the Reggae community by playing shows with Reggae legends such as: Gregory Issacs, Pato Banton, Eek-A-Mouse,and Half Pint(studio work). But we are not only limited to the Reggae field. We have performed with many Hip Hop acts such as Delinquent Habits, and have even played shows with Alternative groups like Dial 7. The secret to Chapter 11's success lies within the universality of music and verbal content.
Chapter 11 has come a long way since its birth two years ago. The first wave of songs were recorded at Speakeasy Records and put out on a self titled Demo CD. These songs capture the initial elements that surround Chapter 11. The release of this CD has produced an instant fan base from all who listen. At this very moment we are in the studio working on a long overdue second CD. Many aspects of the music have matured considerably since the original recordings, and this much anticipated release is bound to have phenomenal results.