The Freestylers are a British electronic music group, generally fitting into the breakbeat genre. However, while on tour, the size of the group may vary dramatically as well as the genre that characterizes the group. For example, in their latest Toronto show, on October 6, 2007, only Matt Cantor and Aston Harvey performed; their DJ set consisted of music such as hardhouse and funky house for the first hour, followed by big beat including a 1997 Chemical Brothers track and "Smack my Bitch Up," by the Prodigy. At around an hour and a half into the set, a short breakbeat mashup was played, followed by some popular drum and bass.
The trio's first single "Drop The Boom (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, Galea and Harvey's previous work). Andrew Galea left the Freestylers shortly after the release of the Freestyle EP.
After the departure of Andrew Galea, Matt and Aston formed an 11-piece band (initially an idea of their record label, Freskanova). This consisted of the 2 producers (Cantor and Harvey), a scratch DJ Jason Tunbridge (Mad Doctor X), a guitarist (Tony Ayiotou), drummer (Clive Jenner), bass guitarist (Joe Henson), 2 MCs (MC Navigator and Tenor Fly) and 3 breakdancers (Coza, Marat, Tim).
The band's first album We Rock Hard was released in 1998. The single "B-Boy Stance" became a singles 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 the top 10 of the Billboard dance charts and "Here We Go" becoming a MTV Buzzworthy clip. 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 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 top 20 on the Billboard dance charts in 2002.
During 2002 and 2003 the group began releasing singles under the artist name Raw As F**k which then became the title of their third album. Released in 2004, it featured the single "Push Up", which reached the top 30 in the UK and top 3 in Australia. Another single, which was previously released before "Push Up", called "Get A Life", was re-released and reached the top 20 in Australia.
Raw As Fuck is an alternative name used by the band during 2002 & 2003 primarily for their vinyl releases. The band continued to use the alias in 2004 only this time for their album title rather than their group name.
All 3 releases went on to appear on the Raw as Fuck album.