Detroit CYDI
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Detroit CYDI

Detroit, Michigan, United States | SELF

Detroit, Michigan, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop EDM


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Detroit CYDI – AT&T [We Are Hot] feat. Stryfe (video)"

The goofballs known as Stryfe (far L) and Rufio Jones (l), Sean Uppercut (m), and Doc Illingsworth (r) of Detroit CYDI are some of the funniest guys on the Detroit rap scene. Not only do they make great music, they also make great parody music – like making a satire-laced song over the default AT&T ringtone. Seriously. Wanna hear it? Here it go’! -

"Audio: Stryfe - Shells"

Our blogging fam at WhatUpDoe passed this on, for us to have a listen....and is very Ill work from Detroit natives Stryfe and Illingsworth....released a couple days back, " Shells” is taken from the upcoming EP titled Opening Act. Make sure you keep an eye out for these brothers. -

"Stryfe: Shells (prod. Illingsworth)"

New music from Detroit emcee Stryfe and producer Illingsworth from their forthcoming Opening Act EP. No release date for the project, but it will feature six tracks produced by Illingsworth. Stream below with link underneath. -


This song is awesome.
This should be a game we play when we’re bored.
And it will be hilariously fun. Currently, this video has over 9000 views. - DORMTAINMENT.COM

"Sound Bites"

The most essential item in any rap artist repertoire, their dictionary, gets recognition in the project from Detroit-based rap group, Detroit Cydi. Produced by Doc Illingsworth, The Rhyming Dictionary is interesting and eclectic. While they represent their hometown to the fullest with a name like Detroit Cydi, they are one of the most unique groups to emerge from the city - their music sounds more Philly soul than Motown. However, that is just one of the most beautiful things about Detroit artist, they don't fit into one box. The Rhyming Dictionary is reminiscent of Slum Village's classic album, Fantastic Vol. 1. It is an album that is well worth listening to and enjoying. This fact has been made plain by the fact that the album, which is available online for free, has been downloaded nearly ten thousand times. Detroit Cydi is definitely a group to keep an eye on. - The Michigan Citizen

"Semi-Dead Press Release"

October 13th, 2009, Los Angeles, CA -- “Semi-Dead” the new horror-comedy web series from student Emmy award-winning writer/producer Chris Wiltz is set to make its debut online via on Oct. 28th 2009.

The series, completely independently produced, joins the ranks of other zombie-based horror web series, but with a unique twist on the characters and story world never before seen in the genre. This is a show of not only the crazy (and sometimes horrific) extremes two characters will go to in order to survive the zombie outbreak, but also what happens when modern technology (i.e Internet access) is thrown into the mix. Things are not what they seem, and the zombie outbreak won’t be what the characters or the audience first imagine it to be.

The key creative team consists of several young filmmakers (graduates of Chapman University in Orange, CA) whose work has garnered selections and numerous awards and festival accolades at prestigious festivals including the Student Emmy Awards, BAFTA, the DGA, and the Hollywood Film Festival.

The original score is composed by Andrea Chang (, a graduate of USC’s prestigious Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television program, who has scored numerous short and feature films as well as animation and video games.

The original theme song is created by Detroit CYDI ( one of the hottest, up and coming Hip-Hop groups in Detroit’s underground music scene. Their uniquely comedic lyrics and fresh production style are quickly earning them nationwide attention. Most recently they performed as part of the 2009 Vans Warp Tour.

Chris Wiltz is a fellow of USC’s Guy Hawks and Marvin Miller Screenwriting Program (the Cosby Fellowship) – founded by Bill Cosby. He is repped by Atchity Entertainment International (A.E.I Management). He can be contacted for any requests for interviews or other materials via email at: or phone at: (310) 439-9574

To view the teaser trailer (fully embeddable in your website or blog) please visit:

The trailer can also be found on YouTube at:

And alternatively on at: - Chris Wiltz

"Independent Artist Spotlight"

Detroit CYDI is an eclectic Hip Hop group comprised of 3 members, Doc Illingsworth, Rufio Jones, and Sean Uppercut. They were originally a part of a group called The Alliance and decided to form their own group. I remember the first time a friend had told me about them. She introduced me to their song, “ClappinTheyHands”. After hearing it I was in awe because it was like a breath of fresh air. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing them perform and also the pleasure of speaking with them about their music. I must say that in addition to enlightening me on who they are I was highly entertained. Every member of the group is extremely comedic. They took some time away from making music to tell me about their history, their recent experience performing at Warped Tour, and how they are totally comfortable with being independent.

How long have you known each other?

Sean Uppercut: We’ve known each other for like 11 or 12 years.

When did you first get together as a group?

Rufio Jones: I believe the number was 4 years ago. We were a part of a larger group called The Alliance. We as a collective thought that the 3 of us had something unique outside of the group itself. So we decided to come up with us.

How many people were in The Alliance?

Rufio Jones: At least 13.

So you were kind of like Wu-Tang.

Rufio Jones: Yes but, only more.

Do you still associate with The Alliance?

Doc Illingsworth: That group doesn’t exist anymore but, everybody is still cool.

Rufio Jones: A lot of the people that are still in The Alliance are still with us but, just not called The Alliance.

There is a lot of stigma held against groups because most groups don’t stay together. How you stay on 1 accord?

Rufio Jones: First and foremost we get to stick together because all of the women in Detroit think we’re so hot (jokingly). So in order to keep that gravitational pull coming we have to make sure that we stick together as a tri-force. No, with all seriousness it all helps that we’re all real good friends. We’ve been doing this for a decade plus. Even when we disagree we chop it up and keep it moving.

Sean Uppercut: It’s basically about being mature. It’s about being above the petty stuff and being able to put our egos aside. It’s many of times that I got my idea shot down but, I knew it was for the greater good so I’ll say, “Alright.” and roll with that.

Well you all seem pretty easy going. When you’re in the studio and making music does it come natural or does 1 person have an idea and you roll with that?

Doc Illingsworth: It’s pretty natural. Everything we do is sort of spurring of the moment random ideas. It’s natural. We don’t have to make it rocket science.

Rufio Jones: With “The Rhyming Dictionary” it was something that was very natural to us. We didn’t have to spend hours in the booth in order to get a song done. Normally this man (points to Illingsworth) will put on a beat and 1 of the 3 of us, something will hit us emotionally as far as that music is concerned. If it hit one person whoever had that idea, we’ll usually roll with it. We essentially have the same brain because again we’re a tri-force (jokingly).

Sean Uppercut: Basically we just get together and have fun. I hope that is portrayed in our music. We’re not trying to beat anybody over the head with like super scientific calculus. I mean we could but, it’s just basically having fun.

A few months ago you dropped “The Rhyming Dictionary”. Describe that album for someone who hasn’t heard it before.

Sean Uppercut: It’s just good music. Like one of the songs says, “It’s Hip Hop plus Rock plus Soul.” It’s really tough to put it in a genre. I mean it is Hip Hop but, it kind of blurs the lines. I think it’s a beautiful thing. There’s a lot more out there than just Hip Hop.

Rufio Jones: I think “The Rhyming Dictionary” basically was an experiment that went very well. We clicked up with Erik L. Though not knowing each other from a hole in the wall we all just connected musically. A guy from Sweden and some guys from Detroit is such as ridiculous type of pairing. It’s something that would never happen without the use of the internet. So just being able to come together with this kind of music probably shouldn’t have worked out but, every time a beat would get put on it made us feel a certain kind of way. For those that haven’t heard it before it’s something that you can just hit play on and listen all the way through. We all have our favorites but, you’ll be able to get all the way through it and not have to fast forward to your favorite song.

You recently had the opportunity to perform at Warped Tour. How was that experience?

Sean Uppercut: It was amazing. A lot of spots we just rap in front of people who are just hard core Hip Hop fans. At this spot we rapped in front of people who were into punk rock. To see the people in the crowd actually feel it, gravitate towards it, and actually stop and say, “What is this?” It’s amazing.

Rufio Jones: I only hope that we can’t make it [Warped Tour] next year because we’re out of the country. To be completely honest it was a group of people that we haven’t had the pleasure of performing in front of before. So it was no way to know how they would receive it and low and behold literally from the start of the play button you would see people turning around and coming back that weren’t there before. They really dug what we were doing. We’re so use to either Hip Hop heads or other rappers. It’s always kind of the same crowd. These cats weren’t use to us but, they were like, “You guys are actually cool. Let me take a picture with you.”

Sean Uppercut: In addition to the experience it was us as an actual group that got the DJ, the practice, photos, stickers, and all that stuff. It solidified us a group. I think it made our levels as far as performance, lyricism, and showmanship go up. I think we can rock any show.

Doc Illingsworth: It was definitely an eye opener as far as who I thought we could and could not appeal to. I realized that our music can touch whoever we place it in front of. So I’m just glad we were able to do that. I hope that we are able to do even bigger things sooner rather than later, like touring. More shows!

So if somebody came to you guys right now and said, “Yo, come do this Techno, Rock, or Reggae tour.” You would be down for it?

Rufio Jones: For sure. We’ve even learned how to tailor make our shows for our audiences. Again, talking about the Warped Tour we did something that we never done before. We just wanted to do something for who was going to be there. If it was a Reggae crowd it may be something else. It doesn’t matter. We know how to tailor make our shows. At this point it doesn’t matter what the people are going to be like. The CD is one thing but, seeing us live is just stupid from what I hear. I’m not that arrogant but, we are sweet.

Are you currently working on a new project?

Sean Uppercut: Yes, we actually have a secret project (jokingly).

Rufio Jones: (laughing) Songs on deck! Songs on deck!

In Detroit it’s somewhat hard for artists to get shown love before “making it big”. How has the experience been for you as far as in relation to being from Detroit and still residing there?

Doc Illingsworth: I can’t really speak for other artists but, when we introduce people to our music we haven’t really encountered too much “hateration”. Every time we play stuff for people or we perform we always gain new fans. So I don’t know what it’s like for other people.

Rufio Jones: My thing has always been to not worry yourself with that. I think that has been what sets us a part. We aren’t feeling the need to break doors down. When people have heard the music and have seen the performances they’ve come to us instead of us having to be like, “Oooh, please let us in or play our music.” So I guess the only suggestion would be to be better and what you’re doing. Not to sound mean but, seriously. If you have to put in that much work then you should take that energy and put it into your music and your craft. If you’re doing that then they’ll come to you. If you build it they will. So build.

Sean Uppercut: I’m a big believer in the law of attraction. So you get what you think about. If you concentrate on your “haters”, people that dislike you, or radio not playing your music then that’s what you’re going to get. If you think about the people that like your music, the people that play your stuff, the people at shows, how many CDs you sold, or how many downloads you get. You can work with that. Just concentrate on the positive stuff.

Do you plan on staying in Detroit for a long time?

Rufio Jones: I love this city like I love Rock-n-Roll (laughs).As long as the city loves me and us I’m all about it. The only thing is we have to branch out for the better. We’re going to make sure that other cities and countries know what’s going on. The whole purpose of the name Detroit CYDI is everybody knows about us but, they don’t necessarily know about this part of Detroit city. Cats are out here talking about how many keys they sold while shooting the whore that they raped 15 minutes ago. It doesn’t have to be about that. This city’s name has all type of stigmas attached to it. Where ever you’re from if you hear the name Detroit you raise your eyebrow. We’re going to branch out but, I’ll always come back home. Detroit is the best place on the planet!

Sean Uppercut: Detroit is home base. Sometimes you have to go away from home base to get training but, you know you come back home and give the people at home what you just got from other places. All of us have been away to other places. You get a better worldview when you travel. You bring that worldview back to your city and let people know your experiences. I think as an emcee you have to become a representative for where you live and your people. Like Gucci Mane did. He’s a representative for his people and whatever his people like to do. Don’t laugh because Gucci Mane is a good marketer. He does what he does well. But, yea this will always be home.

Illingsworth: Everything I do is about Detroit. Rather it’s about music that we do or that stuff that I do to actually keep a little bit of money in my wallet and put a sandwich on the table (teaching children). Even when we get to the point that we’re able to branch out like these gentleman said we’re going to come back here. I definitely want to make sure that any success that we have can be used to help enrich and bring a positive light to Detroit.

Who are some of your influences?

Doc Illingsworth: The king (pauses) of Burgers (jokingly). No, Rakim, Bootsie Collins, and George Clinton.

Sean Uppercut: Everything. Seriously, everything has energy and you can build from that. If you want me to be specific I like all old school albums. I like Big L, Big Pun, Biggie, Nas, Jigga, Snoop, Wu-Tang, Canibus, Twista, Outkast, and old school like Stevie Wonder and Prince.

Rufio Jones: One of my favorite people in the world is Roger Troutman. As far as performances concern I want to be up to par with dudes like that and George Clinton and the Parliament. I’m a big fan of Snoop. I’m a big West Coast guy so I love Ice Cube and Dr. Dre. Also, Too Short. If I ever get to do a song with that guy I can die afterwards (laughs).

Doc Illingsworth: I think I actually have some more. At first I was just thinking about influences as far as lyrics. Because I also do production I have different people that have influenced me such as Pete Rock, DJ Premier, J-Dilla, Mad Lib, DJ Battlecat, Alchemist, and Black Milk.

I know you are independent but, are you signed to an indie label?

Rufio Jones: Right now we’re just ourselves. That’s the best way to do it right now. It’s nothing wrong with signing to a label but, as far as the numbers are concerned if you stay independent you keep approximately 80 percent of the profit. Sh*t (smiles and places an emphasis). As of right now we’re just doing what we do by ourselves. Even though it’s more work outside of just rapping it allows us to do whatever we want to do without having to answer to anybody.

Sean Uppercut: The record industry has like collapsed and we’re now getting to the point of it’s grave. Almost anything that a record label can do for you, you can do for yourself. It’s a little bit more work but, if you look at what Soulja Boy did. People can say what they want to say about his music but, the way that he did it was amazing. That’s the way that it’s going to be. There is really no need for a record deal. It’s really becoming a grass roots sort of thing. Record companies have fed people garbage for years, for at least 15 years on purpose. It’s like when people finally get a bite of what we have to give them (food) they’re like, “Oooh, wow I have tastebuds.” So we try to give them that and reinvigorate that feeling. That’s what people want. It’s an open market for us right now and I think we can take it very far.

So if somebody was to walk up to guys tomorrow and offer you a record deal would you take it?

Doc Illingsworth: We would have to inspect that thoroughly before anything could happen. (Laughing) We are aware that slavery has been abolished and we do not wish to re-enter into any indentured slavery.

Rufio Jones: There won’t be any rash decisions or anything of that sort. People are out here getting bodied. You hear about a cat that had a hot song and that man or lady you never heard from them again. Its like how can a song be that great? They would have made a total of 10 dollars (laughing).

Sean Uppercut: I can sell 15,000 records myself and keep all the profit. If I sell that with a major deal I’m going to see maybe 10 dollars and a bus ticket home. It will only get you half way home. They won’t give you a transfer. So I’ll be stranded on 6 Mile and Woodward, also known as hell (jokingly).

You can learn more about Detroit CYDI at,, and

by Glennisha on August 13, 2009 - The Blast by DigiWaxx


June 10, 2009
The Zone
There’s an old saying, made famous in the movie The Warriors — C.Y.D.I. “Can you dig it?!” Yes, you can, because “Detroit CYDI” Illingsworth, Rufio Jones and Sean Uppercut, have been down since the lunch room day’s making good hip-hop at Renaissance high school. Emcee/Producer Illingsworth explains what exactly they do by saying, “We really just rhyme about whatever we feel, this allows us to enjoy what we’re doing because we’re not worrying about some kind of unnecessary standard. We just do what we do and have fun with it.” CYDI are also known as part of the collective Axis of Greatness, featuring members like Nic Notion, Marc Byrd, Stryfe and Jason Matthews. The group consists of emcees, filmmakers, photographers and producers that create music. Hear them on Marc Byrd’s The Calling and Stryfe’s City of God. Download their current album The Rhyming Dictionary for free at See them at the Bullfrog on Thursday, June 11. | by Origix - Real Detroit Weekly

"Detroit CYDI Interview"

September 10, 2009

What started in high school with simple rhymes on lunchroom table beats has turned into much more for rap trio Detroit CYDI. Comprised of Rufio Jones, Sean Uppercut and Illingsworth, these 20-somethings have been together for several years now and released their EP The Rhyming Dictionary on Christmas in 2008. Influenced by the 90’s hip-hop era, they bring a classic approach to modern times. The group opened up to MichiganHipHop about how they started, what they are all about and what they believe is missing in today’s rap/hip-hop music.

How did you all meet?
Illingsworth: Rufio and I met at the six-mile bus stop; and Rufio and Sean were in the same Renaissance class together. It wasn’t until we were going to lunch and doing lunchroom cyphers when things really popped off.

Rufio Jones: Well, we were The Illiance in high school, back in 1999/2000. Then that like split off and paired down into Detroit CYDI; we still work with everyone but we’ve been together for about 3 or 4 years.

How did you go from such a large group to Detroit CYDI?
Illingsworth: For whatever reason, when the three of us would do a song together we kind of clicked. Everybody in The Illiance was noticing at one point that our group, our music was different. We don’t think about what we’re writing or what we’re doing on stage it just kind of works out.

What does the name Detroit CYDI stand for?
Rufio Jones: The CYDI is in all caps because it is an acronym, and it stands for “Can You Dig It?” I wish there was a better story, but the name hit me in the face one day. It’s “Detroit, Can You Dig It.” So you can look at it in terms of, “Detroit, can you dig us?” In that type of situation it’s a double-edged sword. We are Detroit, we’re representing as hard and as well as we possibly can. We are trying to get a hold of Detroiters and everybody that’s not from Detroit.

How do you all describe your sound?
Sean Uppercut: It’s just dope music. It’s not that tough, we try to make good hooks and we also try to back it up with dope lyrics, dope song ideas and dope content. It’s really that easy, that’s what we go for every time.

The album is entitled The Rhyming Dictionary. How did you all come up with that name?
Rufio Jones: We were about 80% complete with the album and I ended up going to Jacksonville, Fla. with my girlfriend. We went to a bookstore and they had the New Comprehensive American Rhyming Dictionary and it was like two dollars. On the way back driving through Florida, I put on some beats and started picking words out of the book. The Rhyming Dictionary just sounded real cool and with the music we had on the CD, it was a way of showing people how to do this, rap, in a different way. It’s almost like a manual in a sense, hence The Rhyming Dictionary.

How long did it take to record it?
Rufio Jones: Two or three months, maybe four; we started recording it in like September, and we came out with it unofficially on Christmas. It was supposed to be a 2009 album, but we just went ahead and gave everybody a gift.

On The Rhyming Dictionary, “Based on a True Story” and “Roll” remind me of early hip-hop story-telling songs. Was that done intentionally?
Rufio Jones: With “Based on a True Story,” we had Sean’s ideas and Illingworth’s beats and we didn’t know what we were going to do with it. There was a point when Sean just said, “Let’s write some kind of story.” I started jotting down lyrics and I just kept writing until I came to some kind of end. I really think that that song turned out a whole lot better than we thought it would. “Roll” was one of those songs where as soon as we heard it, it was like blackout time. We weren’t like let’s write it this way, but that was where pen and paper just happened.

Sean Uppercut: Everybody went into the studio and wrote the lyrics in the studio that day or that night. Really that’s how it was with most of the songs, too. We would pick the beat and do all the writing and recording the day of; it was a very direct and intense process to making these songs.

Rufio Jones: The thing is, I think storytelling is a very important part of hip hop. It shows creativity on a person’s part, it shows a level of skill that’s becoming lost nowadays. You don’t hear any really good storytelling songs, ever. I think that really cues you in to the artist’s personality, it cues you in to really what’s their thought process and how creative they are with their music. It kind of brings the listener into their world and it paints a picture for them.

What’s your favorite track on the album and why?
Sean Uppercut: All of them; they’re like kids you don’t want to say who your favorite kid is–you love them all for different reasons. But it varies every time I listen to it. Recently it’s been “Too Cool,” it’s a nice summertime song.

Illingsworth: I have three, they’re the ones that I enjoy performing the most: “Too Cool,” “NASCAR,” and “Front Back.” It just something about performing those, I have always enjoyed the crowd response.

Rufio Jones: “Too Cool” is one of my favorite songs, ever. If I weren’t on it, I’d still think that was like the sweetest song in the world.

What do you think is missing in rap/hip-hop music?
Rufio Jones: Honesty, that’s the best way to put it. People are not being honest to the audience or to themselves about their lives or the message they really want. If you go and talk to a lot of the people that make music that is negative, they don’t’ go and say I want to make music that makes people go out and do negative things, they want positivity around them just like anyone else does. At the same time they make the conscious decision to not embrace topics that promote positivity Not even positivity where I’m beating you over the head with sunshine and Skittles, but positivity I’m not talking about slapping you in the face because you’re different from me. But people not being true to themselves or being true to the audience, they need to stop that.

Illingsworth: The rappers either try too hard or don’t try hard enough. Trying too hard, in the sense of they think they have to make the exact song necessary in order to make the customers happy. Or they think they have to make this song that they don’t really believe in, to make the customers happy. That’s an unfortunate part of the music business.

Sean Uppercut: I think we’re going under a replaceable rapper syndrome. You have a song and it’s just a song, and you can say I’m going to send this song to Drake or Kid Cudi and whoever sings it the best gets the song; there is no differentiation or unique talent. When you hear the first three seconds of a song it should grab you. I don’t understand how people right now can sit and listen to the radio. It doesn’t do anything for me emotionally, you only have so much time to be listening to music so why not be listening to the best music you can listen to? Why listen to Plies and Hurricane Chris when you can be listening to something more fulfilling. I mean when you are on the way to the club, Plies might be hype; but if you’re just sitting there listening to your iPod that shit will eat your brain. At least the music I listen to and that I try to make, it has a nutritional value, it’s like a home-cooked meal. All that other shit that’s coming out is like Twinkies; that’s not fun to me. You have to invest time in your ears and time in good music to listen to.

For more on Detroit CYDI, download “The Rhyming Dictionary” (click here), Doctor Illingsworth’s “Twitterverse Traveler” Instrumental CD (click here), or visit them at


"The Rhyming Dictionary" LP (2008)

"The Rhyming Thesaurus" LP (2009)

"Semi-Dead" web series theme song (2009)

"Binary Code" single (2010)

"Detroit CYDI" single (2010)

"Yeah Bitch" single (2011)

"All the Jazz" single (2011)

"AT&T (We Are Hot)" single (2011)

"Ringtone Rap" EP (2011)



What started out as a group of teenagers rhyming at the lunch table gave birth to one of the most highly sought after electro-rap groups around. Detroit CYDI (CYDI = Can You Dig It?!) emerged from a super group of friends and high school classmates known as The Illiance. Detroit CYDI is comprised of the lyricists Stryfe, Sean Uppercut and Rufio Jones with emcee/producer Doctor Illingsworth. Years were spent developing a skill set and dynamic as a group before combining talents with Swedish producer Erik L. This collaboration led to the critically acclaimed "The Rhyming Dictionary". Erik L and Doctor Illingsworth produced a diversity of beats featuring a blend of electronic hip-hop interlaced with a smooth and dynamic Detroit sound. This gave Detroit CYDI the ability to display their microphone skills over a set of unparalleled productions. Furthermore, a gift of a used copy of “The New American Comprehensive Rhyming Dictionary" inspired the title of their first mastered album. The latest offering was an six song EP called "Ringtone Rap"; a CD of lyrics over default ringtones from numerous cellphones.Today, Detroit CYDI can be found performing for and impressing audiences at a variety of venues throughout Metro Detroit. Most recently Detroit CYDI presented at TEDxDetroit using live Tweets for impromptu raps. New music is continuously being produced and crowds are still pleasantly surprised at each live show. It’s a great time to be in Detroit, Can You Dig It?!