Carlo Waibel, better known by his stage name Cro (born January 31, 1990), is a German rapper, singer, producer and designer, who is represented by Chimperator Productions. He describes his music as a mixture between pop and rap, which he calls "Raop".
Born Carlo Waibel on January 31, 1990, he attended the Realschule on the Galgenberg in Aalen, Germany, and later Johannes-Gutenberg-Schule, a vocational school in Stuttgart, Germany. He began recording music at the age of 13. He learned to play the piano and the guitar. In 2009, he released his first mixtape Trash. On February 11, 2011, his second mixtape Meine Musik was released. It was available for free download. Cro produced the entire mixtape by himself. Through the mixtape German hip-hop musician Kaas took notice of Cro.
Besides his musical career, Cro is also active as a designer. Since 2010, he has been designing under his clothing label Vio Vio. After receiving his Mittlere Reife, he completed an apprenticeship as a media designer and worked for the Stuttgarter Zeitung as a cartoonist.
Through Kaas, Cro met Sebastian Andrej Schweizer, founder of the independent-label, Chimperator Productions, and Kodimey Awokou. At the end of September 2011, a "Making of" video for a new artist was published by the label leading to speculations about which artist had been actually signed. In October 2011, Schweizer announced that he had signed Cro.
In November 2011, the music video for Easy, which had been directed by Harris Hodovic and was announcing the upcoming mixtape, was released on tape.tv. A few days later, the video was released on YouTube, where it gained more than 500,000 views in the first two weeks. In the beginning of 2012, it had gained 12,000,000 views, mid-May, the views had risen to a number of more than 44,000,000. The American blog hypetrak.com also reported about the video and Cro. German hip hop and funk musician Jan Delay posted the video on his Facebook page and said, Cro was the "future of German rap." Besides "Easy", "Hi Kids" and "Kein Benz" were also released prior to the release of the mixtape. On December 1, 2011, Cro was a guest on the show NeoParadise by the channel ZDFneo, where he performed snippets of three songs from his mixtapes Meine Musik and Easy. One day later, Chimperator Productions released the mixtape Easy which is available for free download on their website.
In the beginning of 2012, Cro signed an author's contract with Universal Music Publishing Group. On January 27, 2012, Cro embarked on a concert tour named "Pandas Gone Wild!", on which he was accompanied by Psaiko.Dino. In mid February 2012, the music video for "Easy" gained 1,000,000 views on YouTube. In mid May the number of the views rose to 3,000,000. On March 23, 2012, the song "Easy" was released as a single. Besides the Standard version, the Limited Edition version included the songs "Hi Kids," "Lieblingssong," as well as "Konfetti," a collaboration with Ahzumjot and Rockstah. "Easy" entered the German Single-Charts on second place.
In June 2012, Cro's single "Easy" was certified gold in Germany. The music video for the single gained 20,000,000 views on YouTube. From June 29 until July 1, Cro released on Single each day, "Du," "King of Raop," and "Meine Zeit." Music videos were also filmed for every single. On July 6, Cro released his debut album, Raop. Mid-July, "Easy," "Hi Kids," "Du," "King of Raop," and "Meine Zeit," all of his five released singles were placed in the Top 100 in the German Single-Charts.
On September 7, 2012 Cro released a free mixtape called Maop which included 16 remixes of songs from his album Raop. On September 28, Cro competed in the Bundesvision Song Contest with his and Die Orsons' song "Horst & Monika" and took the fifth place. On October 19, 2012 Cro released the track "1 Millionen" through the iTunes and made it available for free download. He dedicated this track to having more than 1 million fans on Facebook. On October 21, he released a music video to accompany the track.
On October 27, 2012 Cro released the music video for his fifth single "Einmal um die Welt" which was released on November 2. In November, Cro's debut album, Raop and single "Easy" reached platinum status in Germany whereas "Du" was certified gold. In Austria, Raop and "Easy" and in Switzerland, "Easy" were also certified gold. He also won the Bambi award in the category "Pop National". On December 6, he won the 1LIVE Krone for "Beste Single" for his debut single, "Easy". He was also named Newcomer of the Year 2012 by iTunes. His debut album, Raop was named "Album of the Year" by MTV.
In March 2013, Cro won a Swiss Music Award in the category "Best Album Urban - International" for his album Raop. Cro has cooperated with H&M and has designed a collection of clothes for men and women which was released on April 4, 2013. On March 11, H&M and Cro released additional behind the scenes images plus an interview.
From October 30 until November 7, 2011, Cro was a supporting act for the Norwegian band Madcon during their Glow Tour 2011. During the concert and also for photos, Cro wore a panda-mask. Psaiko.Dino, producer at Chimperator Productions, adopted the role as a spokesperson for Cro, especially for the video-blogs.
On January 27, 2012 Cro embarked on his first concert tour, the "Pandas Gone Wild! Tour" which ended on February 25 and during which he performed in ten German cities. On April 19, Cro, Ahzumjot and Rockstah embarked on the "Hip Teens Wear Tight Jeans 2012 Tour", which ended on May 13. On May 5, Cro embarked on the "Road to Raop Festival Tour" which ended on September 22. On October 1, Cro embarked on his fourth concert tour, the "Raop Tour". On October 6, Cro performed on Wetten, dass..?. The first leg of the Raop tour ended on December 8. The second leg of the Raop Tour began on January 15, 2013. Eleven dates have been announced for the "Cro Open Air Tour 2013" which visited German and Austrian festivals in the summer of 2013. On October 6, 2013 he announced a new tour in the year 2014. The Tour starts at November 8, 2014 in Mannheim and ends November 29, 2014 in his hometown Stuttgart.