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Chapter What?!

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Album Review

In 1999, Philippine hip-hop/funk band Kulay released Chapter What?!. The band's previous album, 1997's tour de force Vibestation, cemented Kulay's reputation as the Philippines' premier hip-hop band. Kulay's mastermind is Lino "Boom" Dayupay, whose songwriting, arranging, producing, instrumental, and rapping skills are the band's guiding force. Two tracks from Vibestation — "Delicious" and "Burn" — were released as singles in the United Kingdom. Due to the untimely death of original female vocalist Jeannie Oakman, new member Angel Jones performs here, along with long-time singer Radha Cuadrado.

While not as immediately explosive as 1997's Vibestation, Chapter What?! is a worthy follow-up. The band turns on the funk, as heard on such songs as the title track, the luscious "Get Down," and the reworking of George Gershwin's "Summertime," called "Summa-Summatime" here. Delicious funk guitar also permeates "Angels & Strangers," "Just Like U," and the gospel-inspired "As If," among others; the guitar is played by guest musicians. "Paradise," with its acid-jazz ambience, features a discordant piano chord progression, walking bass, jazzy trumpet fills, and sparkling vibes playing, and is laid down over fast, techno-inspired drum beats. "Melancholy" is a tender, verse-chorus-verse type of song that goes down well, while "Ask for More" has a touch of Latin as well as a ska influence.

The singing from both Jones and Cuadrado is smooth and attractive; vocals seem lighter and less intense than when Jeannie Oakman was handling them. Chapter What?! is an excellent album and reinforces Kulay's reputation as the Philippines' pace-setting hip-hop band.


Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

As with most adventurous music, hip-hop isn't well known in the Philippines, which is dominated by easy-listening love songs. Kulay is at the forefront of the nascent hip-hop movement here, and while local response is good, it could be better. More indicative is the strong international response to Kulay's music. Kulay formed in 1991. Boom Dayupay (born Lino) returned that year to the Philippines from Canada, where he had worked the club scene in Vancouver as a DJ. Joining Dayupay was girlfriend/singer...
Full bio
Chapter What?!, Kulay
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  • £8.99
  • Genres: Electronic, Music, Pop
  • Released: 19 November 1999

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