downset. (originally called Social Justice) was a rapcore group hailing from Los Angeles, California.
The band's original moniker was Social Justice. They released their debut album, Unity Is Strength, in 1989 and the EP I Refuse To Lose under this name with a different lineup in 1992. They are known for being one of the first hardcore bands to incorporate hip hop and funk influences into their music.
In 1992, Social Justice (1987-92) changed their name to downset., and released the Our Suffocation demo in 1993. The album, which explored various social issues such as the death of lead singer Rey Oropeza's father at the hands of the LAPD, was praised by critics.
Later in 1994, downset. signed a deal with Mercury Records, a subsidiary of Polygram Records, and released their self-titled effort in the same year. In 1994 downset began gaining popularity in Europe after touring there with Biohazard and Dog Eat Dog followed by a tour with Pantera and The Almighty later that year. In early 1995 downset. returned to Europe with Sullen for a massive headlining tour. In 1995 they also appeared at some major rock festivals throughout the continent including Roskilde and Dynamo. In 1996, the band released their most commercially successful album, Do We Speak A Dead Language?, through Mercury.
After making their departure from Mercury Records, downset. were scooped up by Epitaph Records and released their third album, Check Your People, in 2000. That same year, rumours circulated that Oropeza was to assume Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha vocalist position after Zack left. Other replacement contenders were Chris Cornell, Chuck D, and B-Real of Cypress Hill. Cornell was ultimately chosen, and Rage Against the Machine transformed into Audioslave.
After many line-up changes (most notably, the loss of longtime downset. guitar player, Rogelio Lozano, and the addition of original drummer, Chris Lee), in 2004 downset. released their last album, Universal, on independent record label Hawino Records.
Though downset. never experienced any mainstream success, they are still regarded as a noteworthy influence within the nu metal and rap metal subgenres. In addition to headlining the second stage at Ozzfest in 1997, they toured with Linkin Park, Slayer, Metallica and Anthrax, among many other prominent metal names.
downset. officially split in May 2009, claiming the band had "officially run its course".
Chris Hamilton - Drums,
Andrew Klein - Guitar,
Chris Lee - Drums,
Rogelio Lozano - Guitar,
James Morris - Bass,
Rey Oropeza - vocals,
Ares Schwager - Guitar,
Rico Villasenor - Bass Guitar