RUDER THAN YOU was founded in 1989 at Penn State University and relocated to Philadelphia in 1991. Long known as Philly’s top ska band, Ruder Than You’s identity has never fit too neatly into any of the generic categorizations. While ska and reggae stylings have always provided the common musical thread, over the past 20 years they've been mixing in dancehall reggae, hip-hop, rocksteady, funk, jazz, and punk - to create their own unique sound. The consistent factor however is the band’s energy and enthusiasm, which inevitably pulls people out onto the dance floor.
Independent ska label Moon Ska put out the band’s debut album BIG STEP in 1992 and its follow-up HORNY FOR SKA in 1996. By the mid 90s the group morphed from a five-piece into a nine-piece outfit and captured a passionate regional following, selling out shows regularly. The group toured nationally, regularly opening up for groups like the Skatalites, Steel Pulse, 311, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Blink 182, Desmond Dekker, Ziggy Marley, English Beat, Bouncing Souls, Bad Manners, Fishbone, Yellowman, Eek a Mouse, No Doubt and countless others. Ruder CDs were released in Japan and England, and songs can be found on dozens of compilation CDs far and wide.
In 2005 the band self-released their long-awaited third album, PHILLY STYLEE. The CD was recorded in spurts during the Third Wave ska heyday between 1996 and 1999 with final vocal overdubs and mixes completed in 2004. The CD was excruciatingly long in the making due to a number of personal obstacles which the band was ultimately able to overcome.
The band released their first truly fresh studio endeavor of the decade, the 5-song EP entitled GOD’S GHETTO in 2008 featuring material influenced by old school hip-hop and dancehall reggae.
The group’s newest CD (October 2009) is the 8-song release CREATION SOUNDS which features contemporary ska, ska-rock, and reggae sounds.