Cro is one of Germany's more celebrated artists, collecting awards and millions of streaming numbers for his invigorating blend of rap and pop that he appropriately coined "raop." Known for both his musical style and the easily recognizable panda mask he wore in every press photo, Cro broke through to mainstream success with his first single in 2011 and only became more popular from there, rising to the number one position on the German charts with every album he released -- from his 2015 debut Raop to his 2017 album tru. -- while singles like 2020's "Fall Auf" and "Endless Summer" maintained his prominence.
Cro was born Carlo Waibel in 1990 and began recording his own music by the time he was 13. While still working on his education, he began releasing self-produced mixtapes. First going under the name Lyr1c, Waibel released 2009's Trash and 2011's Meine Musik, before adopting the Cro moniker later in 2011 for his single "Easy," and the mixtape of the same name. Within weeks of releasing "Easy," and its accompanying video, the song skyrocketed to success, with the video accruing more than half-a-million views in the first two weeks it was up. Every month the song had millions upon millions of additional views, eventually racking up over 60 million as the years went on. With such a strong debut to kick off his career, Cro quickly got to work on a proper debut, which came out in July of 2012 and was titled Raop, a 13-track album that also included his now-viral hit "Easy." Raop reached the number one spot on the charts in Germany and Austria before going platinum. The album was so successful it merited the release of an extended version, Raop +5, which was released in 2013. That year Cro also gave fans the Sunny mixtape in between touring and collaborating with H&M on a designer line of clothing for men and women.
His official second album, Melodie, was mostly self-produced, albeit with help from Shuko and Freedo. Released in June of 2014 on the Chimperator label, it was an immediate number one hit in Germany and sold well in Austria and Switzerland, contining to chart for nearly a year. The single "Traum" also hit number one. Cro's MTV Unplugged appearance was released in 2015, and topped the charts, as did its single "Bye Bye." Preceded by the gold-selling "Unendlichkeit" as well as "Baum" and "Tru," Cro's third studio full-length, tru., appeared in September of 2017. Like the others before it, tru. went to number one on the German charts and generated tens of millions in streaming numbers. For the next few years, his output took the form of singles and guest features on other artists' tracks while he focused on different creative ventures such as film and visual art. In 2018 he issued standalone tracks like "One Way" and "Victoria's Secret," and in 2019 he released the single "1000 Hits," and appeared on singles from Kitschkrieg and Majan. The next year, new material came out with singles like "Fall Auf" and "Endless Summer," as well as a handful of collaborations with peers in the German rap scene. ~ Jason Lymangrover & Fred Thomas
BORNJanuary 31, 1990