The Stereo Crew
By Steve Furay
Special to the Michigan Citizen
Today’s global social media world has many hip hop artists aspiring to have an international impact, allowing the music and images of their local movement to become global currency. The Stereo Crew have done just that, straight from Detroit to a land far from home.
The Stereo Crew is a collective of local artists who have recently released a new album called “Amstertroit,” a collaboration with the group Soul Daad from Amsterdam in The Netherlands. The project has reached audiences from North America to Europe, an exciting accomplishment for the group.
“We just want everybody to get together, understand it’s about unity and building,” says Mixo, one of The Stereo Crew founders. “The Stereo Crew thing ain’t just about us, it’s about everybody. You got a talent and you about that talent to a perfection where you can uplift your people, we want you to be apart of Stereo Crew.”
Mixo is a member of The Stereo Boyz, a group at the center of their collective movement. Along with co-member Mic Audio, the two traveled to Europe in 2012 and built relationships with other artists and show promoters. Soul Daad was one of the groups they connected with, solidifying the relationship through the “Amstertroit” album.
“We did it in a week,” says Kid Boombox. “Mixo was overseas and he was collaborating with these Amsterdam emcees, and he came to us when he came back from overseas. He said ‘hey look, we need to get this project done.’”
Mixo explains that during his experience in Europe, he received a great deal of respect for his Detroit music roots. Motor City hip hop, in particular, is well received in Europe, giving his passport extra weight when he reached those foreign lands.
“Overseas, they give us a love and respect on the music and entertainment and our culture here,” says Mixo. “They respect us like we respect their culture.”
The Stereo Crew includes The Stereo Boyz, Kid Boombox, Sacramento Knoxx, John Wize, XtheDetective and DPress, with the squad continuing to grow. They come together for the love of hip hop, bringing fun and the party back to the music.
“We’re hustling, we’re grinding, we’re doing as much as we can to get all of this music to y’all,” says Mixo. He adds that his style of promotion for the crew has come from observing the world of big business marketing.
“What I do is I use the same rules that people would call ‘the man’ would use, but I use them on the positive note. So ‘the man’ would want to over-promote McDonald’s, well I’m gonna overpromote Stereo Boyz.”
“The game is really changing right now for those that don’t know,” says Kid Boombox. “Right now the labels don’t know what to do.”
Coming together and making a move to reach out to an international audience is their way of not only promoting their own music, but also helping out the city of Detroit with a positive creative influence.
“All over the world they’ve got something bad to say about Detroit, but they always tell the negative side,” says John Wize, “but we need to tell the positive because it’s also good going on in Detroit. And through our music we’re going to show you guys we can have fun too and we still care about people.”
“And in the videos too we paint images to open your mind up,” says Kid Boombox.
Several of the music videos from The Stereo Crew have reached tens of thousands of viewers, thanks in part to their manager Wanja Lange, a resident of Berlin, Germany, who has built a strong relationship with these Detroit artists. She is a lifetime fan of hip hop music and is committed to working with Detroit to help bring a new positive life to the culture worldwide.
“It’s the way you’ve got to work in today’s society,” says Kid Boombox. “I feel like the music that’s coming up, it’s tarnished. But it’s a new generation of music, and music changes cycles so quick.”
Today’s era of hip hop music is polarized between the few artists dominating corporate owned airwaves and the countless number of artists finding new global audiences independently, releasing albums and music videos through digital outlets.
“I feel that hopefully hip hop is leading to that original direction it was trying to go, but on a new stage,” says Kid Boombox. “It’s a digital world.”
The next major upcoming album from the collective is the “Carz, Clubz and Theaterz” LP from The Stereo Boyz. Recent releases include the albums “My Life is Like a Movie” from Mic Audio and Sacramento Knoxx, and “The Lions Den” from DPress, along with several others available at the Web site www.StereoCrew.bandcamp.com.