The chant has a rhythm and blues vibe for sure. Although it is in 11, another way to look at this is as a shape. A Long beat equals 3 pulses and a Short beat equals 2 pulses. All chants and rhythms can be broken into Long and Short beats. It’s a better way to keep track of the shape. We never break down anything into one pulse because that can be infinite. So we only need to limit all rhythms to 2 and 3 pulses. You will understand this as we continue from here on. In this case we have Long, Long, Long, Short as the structure and shape or “LLLS” for short. It is the same as 3, 3, 3, 2. However, it is much easier to retain the letters L and S rather than numbers which always change. This keeps you from counting. It is difficult to count while performing. Instead of counting 11 beats in repetition, visualizing long and short beats is the way to go. This will be useful when performing complex lengthy chants.
This chant is something that should be approached very slowly because it sounds a lot easier than it is to perform. The snare and kick pattern in one bar repeats. The easiest way to look at this is realizing the simplicity of the relationship between the snare and kick. The beginning of the second measure (or repeat) gives the chant what I call a hiccup. When repeating at a tempo around 120 BPM with a click or metronome, each pulse lands on each beat making it easy to know exactly where all the beats are. In other words, the metronome counts every beat. The ride cymbal lands every other beat creating a crossover layer. The hip thing is the turnaround on the second measure with the ride cymbal landing on beat 2 along with the second 8th note on the kick. This takes slow practice and repetition. Then there is the challenge of launching into the chant along with the click to begin with.
When approaching odd meter in 11, there are so many beats per measure that this chant breaks it into two parts. There are many ways to divide 11. This is a simple example to approaching the meter. When the numbers get higher, there are more opportunities to break down the numbers. We are looking at this chant with 8 + 3 (or 8 and 3). As always we start with a slow tempo loop, you can clearly hear the division of 8 and 3 as the chant emphasizes beats 1 and 9 on the kick. Once you become relaxed move on to a faster tempo. This chant sounds more even this way than odd.