From the hills of Mt Hotham to the streets of Melbourne City; from a sold out show with the Funkoars to your best mates backyard; from party raps to lyrical wisdom, City Wide Krew are about to become the one hip hop group you wished you’d heard of first.
Originally a duo consisting of Fusion MC and Sammy Rocswell, City Wide Krew (aptly named, due to Fusion’s home in Melbourne and Rocswell residence in Geelong) overcame geographical distance through a mutual love of listening to and making hip hop music. Long trips down the Geelong freeway become rigueur de jour as the group embarked on the embryonic stages of their recorded career, sparking what would soon become a lifelong love of writing and performing hip hop music.
The group in its current guise was spawned during a fated trip to Amsterdam in 2007, when emcees Fusion and Rocswell joined up with Kaydel and Mutley, coming together as a collective for the very first time. After a night of hip hop, Heineken and herb, the boys formed City Wide Krew with the primary aim of bringing Australian hip hop music back to its essence – this would be hip hop music of the people, by the people, for the people…to coin a phrase.
Inspired by the early music of Lyrical Commission, Bias B and Hilltop Hoods, but schooled on a heady blend of Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits, Black Sabbath and Sam Cooke, City Wide Krew create music that is grounded in traditional hip hop sensibility, but flecked with the divergence of Rock n Roll, Soul and Reggae. The result in a sound that is musically intricate, yet universally accessible. In 2009 DJ/Producer Pyrex One joined the group completing the final piece of the band’s puzzle.
Initially gaining notoriety for their energetic live shows, City Wide Krew quickly found themselves supporting some of Australian hip hop’s biggest names; sharing the stage with the likes of Phrase, Funkoars, Ash Grunwald, Illy, Terra Firma, Mantra and Low Budget. Not ones to rest on their laurels however, 2009 saw City Wide’s first foray into the studio, with their ‘ode to travelling’ On The Push receiving national airplay on Triple J’s Hip Hop show.
In 2010 City Wide Krew are set to release their debut EP The Garden State through Red Fox Records (more on Red Fox Records below). Executive produced by Matik (Pez, Bliss N Eso, The Herd, Seth Sentry) and featuring production from Simplex (Obese Records), Motley (Dynamite MC, Bliss N Eso) and Pyrex One, The Garden State traverses the musical landscape, creating a style and sound that is unprecedented for a debut release. As always, lyrically, the EP is infused with wit, probing insight and a very healthy dose of City Wide humour.
In a little under four years, City Wide Krew has gone from relative unknowns to playing sold-out shows with the Funkoars and receiving national airplay on Triple J. It has been a meteoric rise in a cut-throat hip hop market and one that doesn’t look like abating. With the boys setting the hip hop agenda in 2011, don’t let us be the ones that said, I told you so.
Red Fox Records
Red Fox Records is a Melbourne based, independent record label, dedicated to unearthing and establishing Australia’s next wave of local hip hop talent.
Established in 2009, Red Fox Records was created to provide an outlet for emerging and niche independent artists and to give rise to an alternate voice in local hip hop music.
In accordance with the labels core aim of fostering new talent and only signing artists that adhere to the labels’ easy-going, no ‘bullshit’ values, Red Fox’s initial signings were up-and-coming local hip hop collective, Citywide Krew (Melbourne) and emerging Certified Wise MC, LevelHeaded (South Australia).
With the crew putting the finishing touches on their brand new fox-hole and with two new releases slated for later this year, Red Fox Records is set to stalk your speakers soon.