Straight out of western Uganda, Krukid, who was born as Edwin Ruyonga, stands out as one of Uganda’s more socially conscious artists. His father, a member of Bunyooro royalty, passed away when Krukid was very young, while his mother, a well-educated woman, sent him to study at an honorable Ugandan school. Though his date of birth is publicly unidentifiable, his success shot off in the early 2000s during his late teen years. Growing up, his musical inspirations included Bataka Squad, who are among the godfathers of Ugandan hip hop, Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, The Lost Boys, and The Wu-Tang Clan. For him, the hip-hop bible at the time was a Source magazine, which he tried to rob someone of once. In Form 1, secondary school, he developed a passion for writing rhymes and created his first proper rhyme by Form 3. As someone who had an active imagination and watched a lot of TV, he was able to translate his creativity into rap lyrics. His first encounter with hip hop was through a South African cable channel that showed in Uganda. But because hip hop wasn’t all that popular in Africa at the time and wasn’t well-represented, he and his friends later went on to form their own hip hop group called the Urban Thugz Crew (which was later modified to Urban Life). Their music style was heavily influenced by American rap in the 90s and prominent mainstream artists such as Dr. Dre and Tupac. The group’s success at a countrywide music competition allowed for Krukid’s immigration to the United States a few years later in 2002.
Krukid’s career was launched when his submission of a personal music sample to Rawkus Records allowed him to secure a deal with Cash Hill Records and release his first CD, Raisin in the Sun, in 2005. He was later selected to be on the Rawkus 50, a list of underground hip hop acts—an opportunity hundreds of American artists struggle for years to finally gain. Eventually, he formed his own crew, which originally consisted of him, Anti Heroes, and John Doe, whom he met him on tour for “Raisin In The Sun” during the East Coast tour. Then, he traveled to Cincinnati, developed connections, and expanded his crew with people like J Dub, Timeless from Florida, my boy Blast the Beats from Europe, we got couple other people. There, any producers found themselves drawn to Krukid’s the originality, creativity, and substance of his style. After his immigration to the US, he continued his work in Champaign, IL (where he currently resides) by opening for many mainstream artists, including Lupe Fiasco and the Yin Yang Twins. A couple of years back, Krukid formed the group A.R.M (African Rebel Movement) with Ghanain Rapper M.anifest and American producer Budo. Despite the fame and success, Krukid remained a strong, insightful rapper, focusing on addressing topics like corruption, poverty, violence, and conflict in his songs. For instance, track #9 off his third album raps, “Little foreign aid and no government housing,” “they made me a murderer when I was young, I got blood on my hands, when they killed my father and they raped my mother, and the first life they forced me to take was my brother’s.” On his perspective about the controversy of hip hop on whether it’s something that’s either dead or alive, he argues that it is very much alive and well though still underrepresented. Having released three critically acclaimed albums “Raisin in the Sun,” “Afr-I-can” and “Black Mixtape” while still on tour with the guidance of his world-famous record label, Krukid is steadily transforming the mainstream hip-hop scene by bringing a combination of cultural influences and fresh, new beats to the fore.