BioAt first glance and listen, Crown City Rockers is not what you would expect as the next phase of hip-hop. A group driven by a diverse cast of beat makers, M.C., and live musicians whose origins; both culturally and musically, are celebrated and reflected in the band's continually growing international fan base. Herein lies their strength and appeal: the ability and vision to push the boundaries of not only hip-hop music, but music in general. XLR8R magazine sums up the band's vibe saying, " Imagine Herbie Hancock meets A Tribe Called Quest at a party where the DJ has a Jimi Hendrix hangover, but he's rockin' Stevie Wonder and Biz Markie."
Conceived in 1998 in Boston, the band met through impromptu jam sessions and classes at the Berklee School of Music. Now residing in Oakland, California, Crown City Rockers has built an impressive discography, gained extensive, positive press, and has earned a reputation of being one of the hottest live acts on the West coast. Despite complications of having a shared name (Mission:) with a European band, the group has adopted their new title with ease and is gearing for the next phase of their careers spearheaded by a spectacular new album.
With the new album in place, Crown City Rockers fans can look forward to the quality of music they have expected from the group which has drawn comparisons to the likes of Digable Planets, A Tribe Called Quest, and the Roots, all the while incorporating an undeniable character and style that is undoubtedly unique. Soundantiks.com had this to say about the group's style and ability, "The crew's cohesiveness is a major plus to their musical creation. Their individual skills blend like coffee and cream." The group expands the "box" that hip-hop music is categorized in by including dynamic instrumental tunes reminiscent of the Headhunters or the Meters. Crown City Rockers' compositions bring in the boom-bap, stripping it down to just loops at times, but truly reflecting the group's diversity creating an album whose popularity will reach far beyond today's current trends, offering a timeless contribution to the halls of hip-hop.
With only one album under their belt (under the name Mission:), Crown City Rockers has built an impressive discography starting with their self titled E.P., independently pressed and distributed, followed by Contagious, released on Insiduous Urban. Contagious was the first single off the L.P. which charted in the top 10 on Hits, Urban Network, Insomniac Magazine and peaked at #12 at CMJ. The full length L.P., titled One, received enormous positive press. The single titled "Home" (released on P.U.T.S./ Om records), a collaboration with People Under the Stairs, "Mission: 2", (the second single off the album), and another single entitled "Soul Chips" have all garnered impressive sales, favorable reviews, and radio play. Equally impressive is the fact that group has licensed the album in Australia and Japan, which included a limited printing 45 with a non-album exclusive track.
It is obvious the world is catching on to the sound of this talented group. In addition to being a strong musical force in the studio, Crown City Rockers' live shows have expanded their audience immensely drawing everyone from strict hip hop heads to jazz and funk aficionados. They have toured all over Europe (Eastern and Western) and the U.S. and play live shows regularly on the West coast headlining as well as sharing stages with the likes of Talib Kweli, Herbalizer, Angela Davis, and Common all with no manager or booking agent. The excitement for the future and hard work to come is a welcome challenge for the crew. With Raashan Ahmad as the M.C. and sometime producer, Kat Ouano on keys, Ethan Parsonage, a.k.a. Headnodic, as producer and bassist, Woodstock as an additional producer, and Max MacVeety on drums, Crown City Rockers are on a continuous path to spread their music to the masses.