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The best kept secret in music


During his stay in uganda back in the day, he was part of rap click The Urban Thugs who later became Urban Life. Edwin Ruyonga aka Krukid now based in Champaign Illinois in the USA has released a new album titled "RAISIN IN THE SUN." On the album he tackels quite a number of issues that include the trials and tribulations of an African trying to make it on the US rap scene.

The intro has him chatting with his crew mate Fulami about the "American Dream" plus how life is to some a bed of roses. The skit then leads you into "AFRICAN AMERICAN" the first track off his fifteen track album. The beat to the song in a nutshell defines the artist's depth in as far as lyrical creativity is concerned plus you won't fail to notice his urge to take care of different characters in life through this. It elucidates the situation he passed through while still fresh in the states. African American boasts of a raw bumpy street sound definetly having krukid prooving that he can still be a hard core spitter for those that believed in his style back then. "I'm black and pround and the crowds love it, cause am the new scape goat for the general public" goes one of this rhymes. As long as I'm the type u bump in your stereo them I be your stereo type" he brilliantly concludes his last verse off the track. Other tracks include; Dreaming, let me tell you a, True story ,Ready set go, suitcase,stay, All night, Nothing, Can't stop loving you, If there was,2 years, Get up and go,Monster and This is life. He also doesn't forget his home Uganda and for them he gives a few shouts out. Krukid is currently signed to Cash Hill Records in Illinois, the same unit that dropped his latest effort. If you are truly a hiphop head you ought to keep the album "RAISIN IN THE SUN" on your shelf.


Just when you thought there was nobody holding the E.African flag with love and pride, Krukid came in and dropped da bomb, pleasantly surprising us with wit that catches both Africans and African Americans.

It was hard to believe that a Ugandan born rapper would attack and impact the American rap hustle. His voice, beats, rhymes and attitude got fully united to drop “RAISIN IN THE SUN” an album representing young Africans who would like to leave for the U.S.A for their rap hustle.
The 15 cut album is a musical journey in several directions.
First off, you will know he comes from East Africa and he is very proud of it.

He subsequently explains his continuous perseverance over a very long period of time despite all the setbacks in the industry system.

Kru also discusses the love topic real nice when he talks about the different gal types from those ma niggaz pick from clubs to those that would make ma hustlers wanna quit the street hustle. About love check out tracks like: Stay all nite, Dreaming, Can’t stop loving you and Let me tell you.
Deeper into the album, i don’t know who has the darkest skin and why the white man thinks we are damn. Find out why ma people are called African American American African that is the second joint on the album.

With a profound baseline Kruk tells you not to start nothing that won’t be nothing . The song gets you jumping and you will believe with me that ma man deserves his props. It’s also on this track he will let you know he was sent to hell and after dropping a hot verse the devil sent him back to earth.

He is just a crazy kid from East Africa wishing: “if there was something as a wish- then you could make your dreams come true”. Track 11 is a wish come true for da listeners.
Kruk got kinda of cranky on track 14 (monster) it aint nobody’s fault life just created a monster. Now this monster will speak for those that can’t speak especially the foreign and fallen.

Saving the best for last, ma man just put the best track last- thus in my opinion “This is life” addresses the universal hustle of trying to make it in life. It inspires, motivates and refreshes your hustle. I really like the jazzy feel he gave it – it makes you high but it’s a chill track. The conscious message got in full connection with the jazzy feel resulting into a track that spells truth with a big T.

Truth hurts but Kru lets you see it clearly that America is a country with lots of good and bad. Like the celebs worshiped by many kids can’t obey there own rules. This is my favorite joint you need to find out yours.
For more information about the album check out
Review by Ronnie Watema


© Copyright 2005, Hip Hop Csnvas. Content Management & Design: Levi Oscar.


At one point in time many people thought that hip-hop was a simple fad that would last as long as the disco era. As we all can see hip-hop has been around for almost thirty years and has been greatly accepted by the mainstream. It has gone beyond the boroughs of New York and has bumrushed its way into the international realm. With this opportunity various emcees from all over the world are able to create their own voices through hip-hop. Especially a well-rounded Ugandan emcee by the name of Krukid.

The East African emcee definitely shows his talent in Raisin In The Sun. He speaks about various subjects on the album with a swagger very similar to Jay-Z (note: he is no Angelous, ie a Jay-Z clone). With this ability he doesn’t come across as being pretentious but rather conversational. This is especially seen in “African American, American African”, where he raps “African American, American African see the same shit and we’re here and there back again/ a race fearing over who got the blackest skin, African American, American African.”

His album isn’t simply jam-packed with conscious songs. He definitely shows his storytelling abilities on “Let Me Tell You A” where he tells the story of young female who makes the wrong decisions in life. He also has other songs that showcase his talents, such as “Nothing” (a braggadocio track) and “True Story” (a non-generic club song). He again shows his introspective side on songs like “If There Was” and “Get Up and Go” without being preachy or gimmicky in order to convey his message to the audience.

Despite the talent that Krukid has, there is no such thing as a perfect album. There is a bit of oversaturation for the “love” songs on Raisin In The Sun. The songs aren’t bad (well he could’ve gotten rid of the singer for “Dreaming” and “2 Years") but there seems to be a bit too many of them.

Krukid shows a lot of promise as an up and coming emcee. He’s very polished and has a way of bringing the audience into his world. If he keeps making albums like Raisin In The Sun, he will definitely have a long career ahead of him.

– James Smith

Krukid is the kind of MC that makes anything sound good. He is that rapper that can find a flow and had a bar for any kind of beat and you can hear every word he says. Reviewing his album was a pleasure.

Click here to listen to 'I got this' as you read on

The first track on this 'Diagrammer' album is the track ‘Nightlife’, which is his description of Kampala partying as the moon rises. Krukid explains that when he got to Chicago, his rhyme-spiting skills were instantly recognized and acknowledged and his mated couldn’t believe he was from and actually learnt to rap from Africa, some didn’t even know where Uganda was. They then asked about the Ugandan/Kampala nightlife and behold! Here it is in a hip-hop track. The thing that makes Hip-hop unique is that you can tell a whole story in four minutes and 32 seconds, which is exactly what he did.

His descriptiveness is the explanation why the album is titled ‘diagrammer’. From the way he describes partying at Kampala clubs, you can imagine you’re standing on 1st Street, Industrial area, somewhere between Club Silk and Angenoir at 11:30 pm watching all the drama unfold as girls and guys chill, reminisce as the night wares away. He talks about everything from beers at half price to girls dressed to kill and ‘knuckle conversations’.

Then there came ‘Listen’ on which he talks about death. He puts himself in the situation of a dead guy who wants to speak out or move but can't and it’s all like a bad movie. This background instrumentation and melancholic humming voice could pass for a score on a horror or thriller movie like the BBC’s mini series, ‘Silent witness’ featuring Amanda Burton as a forensic pathologist.

‘Smash’ is a typical egoistic hardcore rap track where he talks about his superiority in the game and his exquisite word-play skill, which he indeed exhibits. The track it’s self makes a statement of aggression even before the first bar comes through.

‘I got this’ is the club track with perfectly made and mastered bouncy beats to accompany this acclaimed Ugandan MC, ideal for a sea-walk dance sequence. This to me is the eyeball of the album, kinda commercial, but guess that’s what the masses want, isn’t it? In a nutshell, it’s about clubbing and girls the American way. He features two MC’s on this, he does the first verse.

‘Oh no’ is about a relationship gone bad with lots of sour-grapping. He gives an impression of a player who came clean only to be played by the only girl he really gave his heart to. It describes a very hopeless situation with lots of regrets after which the chorus goes ‘Oh no! Oh no! Oh no!

Diagrammer is a classic compilation worth owning. Krukid is one of, if not the best MCs Uganda has given forth to date and he’s going to be in the game for a long time to come by the look of things. On his previous visit to Uganda, he featured on MSB and Young Nick’s ‘Vako’, which went on to be the number one selling track in Nairobi. After he ‘spat’ his verse, MSB was like “was that 50 (Cent) on my track?”


The Champaign music scene has recently acquired KRUKID-one of Uganda's most popular hip-hop artists. KRUKID now holds the number one most downloaded song on He also won Chicago's Pass the Mic MC contest in 2004. From the depths of Uganda, East Africa comes a culture's most lyrically deadly up-and-coming artist. An avid hip-hop fan himself, KRUKID, aka Edwin Ruyonga, was baptized into the Champaign scene when he saw his first hip-hop show at the Canopy club in 2003. Czar from Animate Objects was performing, and toward the end of their set they let him spit a couple of bars. He recently opened for Brain Housing and won the battle for Midwest Illest at Nargile. KRUKID will be playing with Treologic, Friday, April 29, at Nargile.
- The Buzz Newspaper

Krukid-"Raisin In The Sun" (Cash Hill Records). This is a hip-hop gem that was released late in the year and should not be overlooked as one of the best albums in the area this year. The album is the brainchild of lyricist E. Ruyonga and the multi-talented Garenne Sanya N'kanta Bigby handling the production and instrumentation. The talented two-some have collaborated for one beautiful record. - The News-Gazette

Ugandan emcee Krukid yields a powerful trait that is uncommon in American hip hop; vulnerability. An emcee admitting skillfully through artistry and tone that life is sometimes tough is refreshing in this mixed up hip hop world. Krukid is far too focused to talk like a jerk and play games. He understands the big picture as well as how to weave his perspective and experiences into compelling songs. Like he says in “Real Talk,” “There’s a difference between keeping it real and keeping it realistic,” which he does here.

Constantly mixing experiences and perspectives into thoughtful streams of thought, Krukid is able to create a balance that works. Unique production with a nod to his heritage underscores the sense that this album is genuine and from the heart. “Invisible” is a track that deals with the atrocities that Krukid and his people have endured, and the emotion it contains is palpable. “African” starts off with an avalanche of a flow that establishes his identity as a representative of the continent that continues to withstand so much.

While it could be pointed out that certain hooks on African sound a little scarce, the scarcity contributes effectively to the authentic tone of the album. This is an album to be digested, consumed, and carefully considered. Many of the issues discussed are ongoing, and hopefully Krukid’s unique ability to rhyme will open people’s eyes and create more understanding. This is a great hip hop album, but above all it is a well crafted piece of art filled with substance.

- Russel Rubin
- OKAY Player

The flavor of hip-hop is changing from the salty grit of New York boroughs to the full bodied richness of international artists. Edwin "Krukid" Ruyonga, an East African MC, is definitely a contributor to that flavor. Krukid's critically acclaimed debut album Raisin in the Sun combined the lyricism and storytelling of Talib Kweli with the incessant, hypnotic club beats of Bay Area artists. His follow-up album AFRiCAN continues his consciousness raising legacy. Tracks like "City Life" illuminate the plight of Ugandan child soldiers and bring back the real talk meaning of hip-hop. With his relevant social commentary and captivating beats, Krukid's authentic and refreshing lyrics are sure to keep listeners coming back for seconds. - URB

It's so hard for a true fan of hip-hop to listen to the radio or watch TV. The foundational elements of hip-hop almost seem non-existent. You hardly see people breaking at a party anymore. DJs rarely scratch at clubs, instead feeding the turntable one krunk song after another. The graffiti artist is more or less a neo-American relic. And the MC … let's not get started on the MC. Nowadays if you hear a simple coherent rhyme of some substance your mind is blown because it goes against the anti-intelligent, materialistic monikers that are thrown about over the heavily synthesized, meekly and irrespectively sampled beats, most of which lack innovative musicianship. Every now and then hip-hop gets a reprieve, a rounded artist to remind us what good music sounds like, a new artist. Most real lyricists currently in the game are throwbacks from the hip-hop renaissance from 1992 to 1998, resembling your artists like Nas, Jay-Z, Method Man, Ghostface Killah, Jadakiss and Busta Rhymes, and new artists like Lupe Fiasco or Little Brother are the reprieves. They are definitely not as popular as one may like them to be because they force the consumer to actually listen. Similar to good literature, the passage or the bar either contains a deep analytical allusion or it can vividly depict a socio-economic and political situation.

Of course we all like to kick it. And who wants to use their brain all the time and enjoy a "range" of music inside a diverse genre? I don't mind hearing "My Girl Got a Girlfriend" or "She's Tatted Up" over and over again on the radio at all hours of the day ... and I sincerely mean over and over again. Granted, I don't want to think about socio-economics or political reform while I'm dancing in a club, but that also means that an artist doesn't have to dumb down him or herself or the listeners with asinine songs. It's unfortunate that the easiest and most likely way for an artist to make it in the rap game is to come up with a catchy single that exploits age-old racial stereotypes, hyper-sexual misogyny and/or ultra-capitalism. Is this the window of hip-hop we want to give the world?

In a verse by KRS-One on the song "Better Than I Ever Been" with Kanye West, Nas and Rakim (Rakim appearing on the Premier Remix), KRS spit that on the radio we need to hear more local MCs. When you think for a moment, how bad would that be? I don't mean unpolished, grimy cats spitting in a made-up studio in their grandma's basement trying to come up with the next ignorant catchphrase over a Casio keyboard beat that'll get 'em paid, but those artists who have considerable talent, a community backing and some, dare I say it … buzz. For example, take our local artist Krukid. He's commonly referred to as a cross between 50 Cent and Jay-Z, and his content, originality, flow and cadence, backed with ambitious production, quantify him as a formidable MC. His sophomore album, Afri-I-can, available now on his Web site through Rawkus Records, is what the game needs more of - issued, coherent rappers with a message. Not a message like "school is cool" or the opposite, "I'm hard because I kill people" but a message in the sense that he's grounded, hungry and explicit without cursing. Krukid, a Ugandan hip-hopper who reps a continent, unites the most turbulent and molested land in the history of our world for a brief moment on his title track. The land where the Griot birthed the MC. This is where all superficial hip-hop stereotypes stop because there is no hood in America that is tougher than Sudan or Darfur. For real, this brother has the skill, intelligence and charisma to be great and greatness is what this game needs.

So let's take control of what we see as our music and steer it towards a direction of realness. Let's get our own, like Krukid, in the airplay. After all, we're hot because we're fly, and we're that because we buy. One Love. - The Buzz (University of Illinois)


Krukid "Raisin In The Sun"- Cash Hill (2005)
Krukid "Afr-i-can" - Rawkus / Cash Hill (2007)


Feeling a bit camera shy


Edwin “Krukid” Ruyonga, East African emcee residing in Champaign, Illinois, feels he has a lot to be thankful for this year. One of these reasons might be the upcoming international distribution of his latest album “African” to be released by Cash Hill in conjunction with the world famous Rawkus records. Krukid was officially selected to be part of the Rawkus 50, Rawkus’ new underground hip-hop campaign. Another reason might be winning the award for best Hip Hop at the 1071 CU Local Music Awards. For the most part though, Kruk’s just happy he’s still doing what he loves with a passion the way he always wanted to do it, music. Born and raised in Uganda, East Africa, Kruk has spent his young adult life fighting to validate his musical beliefs. Music is rarely looked upon as a profession worth pursuing in a country where many certified university graduates cannot get jobs, let alone HIP HOP music. Forming the Urban Thugz with a group of equally talented friends and winning a countrywide music competition in early 2000 did little to cast a more appealing light on his musical inclination in the eyes of friends and especially family. Be that as it may, from the second Edwin fell in love with hip hop at an early age, he recognized its power in giving voices to the unheard that did not just attract but demanded attention. From an early age, this was a voice he felt his country and continent so desperately needed. With this feeling at the core of his being, being sent to the birthplace of hip hop, if originally to pursue a higher education, felt like destiny and an opportunity he could not pass up. Honing his lyrical prowess long before he ever set foot on American soil, Krukid was hit with a grim realization upon arriving here in 2002. The music he’d come to know and love as a voice for the oppressed was fast becoming nothing but a cash cow conforming to popular entertainment dimensions, where a danceable club beat powering a song is more important than the message behind it. With this in mind, Krukid has progressively learned to weave substance in and out of music you can play at a party and still keep everyone moving. He also made sure to never have himself pigeonholed and stuck in the punch line or mixtape emcee cluster, regardless of his countless mixtape and on stage battle appearances. Opening for a wide array of diverse respected hip hop artists from Mystikal to AfroMan to Brother Ali and consistently rocking the shows every time, Krukid caught the attention of many respected Local Musical Talents. The first of these was Derek Linzy of DLNZ productions and eventually Garenne Sanyankanta of Cash Hill Records, with whom he would put out his Critically acclaimed Debut album “Raisin in the Sun” (4 out of 5 afros/questies on and his much anticipated Sophomore release “African” in Conjunction with Rawkus records. Rawkus records is internationally accredited for bringing fame to many underground hip hop acts such as Sir Menelik, Company Flow, the High and Mighty, Mos Def and Talib Kweli (a duo known as Black Star), Common, Pharaoh Monch, Skillz, and DJs and producers such as Hi Tek, Dr. Luke, Marco Polo and DJ Evil Dee, as well as resurrecting hip hop legend Kool G Rap. It helped launch the conscious hip-hop movement through these artists and their influential compilations The Lyricist Lounge and Soundbombing each had worldwide tours. Rawkus Records just recently signed an exclusive distribution deal with RED/SONY/BMG Distribution Where he held his debut down on more or less his own, Krukid’s sophomore album features many of his talented friends. These include John Doe, Ryan Groff, Kayla Brown, Sanyankanta, Yes Yes, SMI, Larry Gates and Brandon T Washington. The beats also came from a more varied collective, including Mulatto Bastard, J Dub, Falynx, Sanyankanta and John Doe. This album is one Krukid describes as the one he always knew he had to make. “I just wanted a more accurate musical representation of where I’m from and who I am, as well as a musical ode to a continent of which I am so proud to be an ambassador” With songs on this album like “City Life” which is a trip through Kampala, Uganda, “Invisible” illuminating the plight of his country’s child soldiers, and “Calling” a song that reminds him that he’ll always be Ugandan no matter where he goes, Krukid does just that. He represents. Something hip-hop was originally all about “I’m a hundred percent African Pride/ Like the Ugandan flag on the side, the front and the back of the ride…” -Krukid, My Music My Country