Citizen King was an American music group from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, whose style was a mix of hip-hop, soul and punk. They are best known for their top 40 hit "Better Days (And the Bottom Drops Out)", which peaked at #25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1999.
The band formed in 1993 after the breakup of their previous band, Wild Kingdom. Both bands received a lot of local recognition for their live shows. While Citizen King's first LP and EP were only commercial successes around Wisconsin, they were well received by critics. They were discovered by Speech from Arrested Development, who produced several tracks on their debut album Brown Bag. They followed up with the EP Count the Days.
They toured with Fishbone, and executives at 510 signed them after attending their show at the South by Southwest convention. The band's 1999 release Mobile Estates received moderate commercial success. The album's hit song Better Days (And the Bottom Drops Out) was played in the pilot episode and the series finale of Malcolm in the Middle.
Their first single and biggest hit was "Better Days (And The Bottom Drops Out)." It became a Top 40 hit and went gold in the summer of 1999. It was also ranked on other Billboard charts, including peaks of #3 on Modern Rock, #33 on Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales, and #1 on Top 40 Recurrents. A remix of "Better Days (And The Bottom Drops Out)" was used in the 2000 movie Gone in 60 Seconds, and the original version was used in the video game, Street Skater 2, along with "Under the Influence." "Salt Bag Spill" was featured on The Animal soundtrack in 2001. The band was managed by Jeff Castelaz, who later founded Dangerbird Records, and continues to manage keyboardist Dave Cooley in his work as a producer and mixer.
Keyboardist Dave Cooley continued his career as a producer and has produced records for such artists as Silversun Pickups, Local Natives, Eulogies, Darker My Love and The Polyphonic Spree. Cooley also became a mastering engineer for Stones Throw Records, overseeing most of the albums by J Dilla and the label's founder Peanut Butter Wolf.
Vocalist and bassist, Matt Sims, continued his career under the moniker Mount Sims. He currently lives in Berlin.
Citizen King disbanded in 2002.
Based in Milwaukee, Citizen King mix hip-hop, soul and punk in a style much like Fishbone (who they've toured with) on their 1995 debut album Brown Bag.
Guitarist Kristian Riley, vocalist Matt Sims, pianist Dave Cooley and turntable expert Malcolm Michiles formed Citizen King in 1993 after their previous band Wild Kingdom broke up.