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 Uno joined the group completing the final piece of the band’s puzzle.
Initially gaining notoriety for their energetic live shows, Citywide 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 (Red Fox Records). 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 2010, don’t let us be the ones that said, I told you so.
Mutley, Wil-KO, Kaydel, Rocswell & Pyrex on the wheels
That ‘LIFESTYLE’ with friends and fam
Formed in 2008, Citywide was born out of a desire to take hip hop music back to a time where big acoustic drum breaks and chopped up samples reigned supreme. Easy listening, mixed with a discernable boom bap sound would become the hallmark of this collective’s music.
Comprising of MCs WIL-K.O, Mutley, Kaydel and Rocswell, alongside DJ/Producer Pyrex, the five man crew initially gained notoriety though their energetic live shows and rapidly found themselves as the “go to” support for some of Australian hip hop’s biggest names, sharing the stage with the likes of Illy, The Funkoars, Mantra, Terra Firma and Maundz.
2009 marked Citywide’s first foray into the studio with their debut single, On the Push receiving national airplay on Triple J. On the Push was followed by the release of the group’s first EP, The Garden State, a five-track ode to the state the group was born, raised and formed in. Fast forward four years and Citywide has just capped off 2014 by sharing the stage with hip hop royalty, Ghostface Killah and are on the cusp of releasing their first full length album, Lifestyles.
Dissatisfied with the dominance of the pop-influenced hip hop that was receiving the majority of radio airplay, Citywide set out to defy this trend by creating a record that would be decidedly different in its output. Recorded in the purpose built Fox Hole Studio and guided by a sample driven, 90s hip hop sensibility, Lifestyles includes production from Pyrex, Geko, Zetes and Shookz and features guest spots from Fatty Phew, Ching-rock from the Arsonists, and Crusty Demons legend, Seth Enslow to name a few.
Three years in the making, Citywide’s Lifestyles is a record that will remind you why you fell in love with hip hop in the first place