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For other uses, see Freestyle (disambiguation).
Also known as Raw as F**k
Origin London, England
Genres Electronica, breakbeat, trip hop, big beat, acid house, electro house, rave
Years active 1996–present
Members Matt Cantor
Aston Harvey
MC SirReal
Chris Bishop
Past members Andrew Galea
MC Navigator
Tenor Fly
Mad Doctor X

The Freestylers are a British electronic music group, generally fitting into the breakbeat genre.


The Freestylers formed in 1996 when DJs and dance music producers Matt Cantor, Aston Harvey joined forces.[1] Both of them had been involved in the British dance music scene since the early 1990s. Cantor had recorded both as Cut n' Paste and Strike with Andy Gardner (Plump DJs).[2] Aston Harvey recorded as Blapps! Posse best known for their 1990 breakbeat dance hit "Don't Hold Back"[3] before working with Definition of Sound, Rebel MC and DJ Rap (as DJ Rap and Aston).[4][5] The group took their name from their first sample "Don't Stop The Rock" by Freestyle.

The trio's first single "Drop The Bomb (AK-48)" on their own Scratch City Records in 1996 became a dancefloor hit in the UK and Miami. The band released the Freestyle EP in 1996 on Freskanova (Freskanova's parent label, Fresh, had released Cantor and Harvey's previous works).Cantor and Harvey formed an 11-piece band (initially an idea of their record label, Freskanova). This consisted of the two producers (Cantor and Harvey), a scratch DJ Jason Tunbridge (Mad Doctor X), a guitarist (Tony Ayiotou), drummer (Clive Jenner), bass guitarist (Joe Henson), two MCs (MC Navigator and Tenor Fly) and three breakdancers (Coza, Marat, Lil'Tim).[6]

The band released their first album, We Rock Hard, in 1998. The single "B-Boy Stance" became a hit in the UK in 1998 featuring the contributions of rapper Tenor Fly. In 1999, the Freestylers enjoyed success in the U.S. with track "Don't Stop" reached number 8 in the Billboard dance charts and the video for "Here We Go" becoming hit on a MTV . We Rock Hard sold well in the US, selling over 150,000 and reaching the top 30 of the Billboard Heatseeker chart.

Following the success of B-Boy Stance, the band were asked to remix tracks by Audioweb, Afrika Bambaataa and the Jungle Brothers[7] as well as a big beat compilation album FSUK 2 and a Radio 1 Essential Mix featuring Beenie Man, Public Enemy, Whodini and The Fall.

The Freestylers released a mix album, Electro Science, in 2000. Their second album, Pressure Point, was released in 2001 with the track "Get Down Massive" featuring Navigator reaching number 16 on the Billboard dance charts in 2002.

During 2002 and 2003 the group began releasing singles under the alias Raw As F**k, which later became the title of their third studio album. Released in 2004, it featured the single "Push Up", which reached the top 30 in the UK and top 3 in Australia. The song "Get A Life", which was released as the album's first single, was re-released and reached the top 20 in Australia.

Released in 2006 album Adventures in Freestyle experimented with a variety of styles, and saw the Freestylers working with assorted underground vocalists.

In 2010 the remixes of "Cracks" (originally from the Past, Present and Future E.P.) was released through Never Say Die Records. The Flux Pavilion remix was one of the biggest dubstep anthems that year; it has soared past 25 million hits on YouTube.[8]

London breakbeat production duo CTRL-Z, individually known as DJ Dash (Tom Petais) & DJ Inch (Nicky D’Silva), have been very involved with The Freestylers' music. In 2009, their remake of "Ruffneck" (renamed "Ruffneck '09") became the first ever release of the Never Say Die Records label. They have also remixed "Security" in 2007 and "Cracks" in 2010.[9][10][11] CTRL-Z has also co-produced songs with The Freestylers, such as "Turn to Dust" from the Adventures in Freestyle album.[12]

In 2012 The Freestylers signed with Black Hole Recordings subsidiary Rub-A-Duck Records. Through the label, they have released singles such as "Frozen" and "Over You", as well as their latest album The Coming Storm in 2013. 2012 also saw new member Chris Bishop (Screwface from Stereo:Type) joining the production team.[13]

Since the release of their album "The Coming Storm the Freestylers have now been releasing their new material on Instant Vibes part owned by Dj Krafty Kutts.Their new single "Rude Bwoy features Jamaican's finest Dancehall new stars RDX.

Band members[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Matt Cantor - keyboards, sampler, programming
  • Aston Harvey - turntables, programming, laptop
  • Valerie M - vocals
  • MC SirReal - raps
  • Rich Budgen - guitars
  • Dave Budgen - bass
  • Sam Edwards - drums, percussion

Former members[edit]

  • MC Navigator
  • Tenor Fly
  • Funk Wizard Jay Rock (a.k.a. Mad Doctor X) (scratch DJ)
  • Tony Ayiotou (guitar)
  • Joe Henson (bass guitar)
  • Clive Jenner (drums)
  • Coza (breakdancer)
  • Marat Khairoullin (breakdancer)
  • Lil'Tim (breakdancer)

Other collaborators[edit]



Year Album details Peak chart positions
1998 We Rock Hard 73 33
2001 Pressure Point 115
2004 Raw as F**k
  • Released: 5 July 2004
  • Label: PIAS
  • Formats: CD
66 66 180 44 130
2006 Adventures in Freestyle
  • Released: 2 October 2006
  • Label: PIAS
  • Formats: CD
2013 The Coming Storm

DJ mixes/compilations[edit]

  • Essential Mix (BBC Radio 1)(1998)
  • FSUK2 (1998)
  • Rough Technique Vol. 1 (1998)
  • Electro Science (2000)
  • FabricLive.19 (2004)
  • A Different Story Vol. 1 (2007)


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
1998 "B-Boy Stance"
(ft. Tenor Fly)
23 We Rock Hard
(ft. Navigator)
(ft. Navigator)
1999 "Here We Go"
(ft. Definition of Sound)
2000 "Don't Stop"
2001 "Told You So"
(ft. Petra)
100 Pressure Point
"Get Down Massive"
(ft. Navigator)
2002 "Weekend Song"
(ft. Tenor Fly)
"Now Is The Time" / "Blowin Ya Brainz"
2004 "Get a Life" 15 60 82 66 Raw as F**k
"Push Up" 2 1 4 5 22
2005 "Boom Blast"
(ft. Million Dan)
2006 "Painkiller"
(ft. Pendulum & Sirreal)
117 Adventures in Freestyle
"In Love With You" 40
2007 "Electrified"
(ft. Bad Manner, Sirreal, Ragman & Ayak)
2008 "Dynamite Love"
(with Krafty Kuts and Dynamite MC)
Non-album singles
"Push Up Word Up"
2010 "Cracks"
(ft. Belle Humble)
2011 "Over You"
(ft. Ami Carmine)
2013 "The Coming Storm"
(with Stereo:Type ft. Takura)
The Coming Storm
"You and What Army"
2014 "Falling"
(ft. Laura Steel)
"The Sound"
(ft. Fast Eddie)
2015 "Fall Down" Non-album singles
"Rude Bwoy"
(ft. DMX)




  1. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  2. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  3. ^ "Blapps! Posse interview".  External link in |website= (help);
  4. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  5. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  6. ^ We Rock Hard (sleeve notes). 
  7. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  8. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);
  9. ^ "Ruffneck 09 Feat Navigator". YouTube. Never Say Die Records (wewillneversaydie). 21 Feb 2012. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Freestylers - Cracks Ft Belle Humble (Ctrl Z Remix)". YouTube. Never Say Die Records (wewillneversaydie). 23 Feb 2012. 
  12. ^
  13. ^  Missing or empty |title= (help); External link in |website= (help);


External links[edit]