In 2000 rapcore pioneers Downset released a musically fierce and brutal counterpart to the Nu Metal of the 2000s. “Check Your People” was the band’s third album with its unmistakably raw hardcore sound and its relentless lyrics about sexism, animal rights and global crises that sounded at the time like a rebellion against the music of an entire generation, which under the influence of bands like Limp Bizkit has since devoted itself primarily to a dull party interpretation of this once so grueling sound. In order to celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary End Hits Records is therefore releasing a new high-quality edition, which will enable fans to enjoy “Check Your People” on the turntable again for the first time in a long while.
The fact that soundwise Downset position themselves so clearly against the Nu Metal sound of the 2000s correlates paradoxically with the fact that they themselves were once signposts for the iconic mixture of rap and heavy guitars. The band’s history begins in the late 1980s, back then under the name “Social Justice.” The band recorded their first EP together with Epitaph founder and Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz, and thus became the new hope of Southern Californian Straight Edge Hardcore. The fact that Downset also incorporate distinct hip-hop influences into their sound is primarily due to frontman Ray Oropeza, who as co-founder of a respected Latino hip-hop crew wanted to bring his two musical passions together.
In Downset’s debut single “Anger,” Oropeza sings with brutal frankness about the murder of his father by the Los Angeles Police Department. The song becomes such a hit that Downset get a major deal. The band plays numerous tours in very different musical worlds, but always keeps its socially critical roots; no matter if they play with Straight Edge hardcore icons like Shelter, global hardcore phenomena like Biohazard or in front of stadium audiences with huge metal acts, such as, Slayer or Ozzy Osbourne – Oropeza’s frustration about the social injustices in the USA, the self-destructive effect of drugs, rape culture and sexism are present on every stage.