Episode 111 | ILL RUCKUS - Hip Hop Group from the DMV
July 4, 2018•17 min
Today's guest is Rap Group ILL RUCKUS
The culture of Rap and Hip-Hop has expanded over the years in both positive and negative ways. To its credit, it has provided a voice to the downtrodden and disenfranchised, allowing people to share their struggles and triumphs. Others however have used the art form to glorify violence and materialism. Styles vary wildly but for the men of Ill Ruckus, their beats, rhymes, and wordplay are all about bringing the positive vibes back to Hip-Hop, one song at a time.
Ill Ruckus got its start before it even knew it existed as its core members were friends since childhood. Though the number of people in the group has fluctuated since it was officially founded in 1999, it’s presently working comfortably as a trio. Sidd, Mr. Smiff, and Valdeast have enough years and shared experiences behind themselves that they don’t just consider themselves a musical trio; they’re a family. Growing up in and still based out of Lexington Park, Maryland, the area itself is known for its long standing cultural roots, and strong military presence. It’s the kind of place that can instill strong, humble values into you while still exposing you to some of life’s harsh struggles.
It’s these struggles though that have pushed Ill Ruckus together and made them one of the hottest up and coming groups in the area. It helps that all three of the members have their own individual style that’s been cultivated over years of living life and writing about it. Sidd brings to the table his musical studies, being an accomplished saxophonist and pianist. Though he’s normally a quiet person, music allows him to express himself. Mr. Smiff also brings with him his own musically gifted ear, combined with a good deal of life experience from his strong community roots. Valdeast has the benefit of being a devoted family man, one who’s as humble and loyal as he is passionate about music. That family devotion helps serve as a constant reminder to Ill Ruckus of the positive impact music can have, and the audience that needs empowering music in their lives.
Given their distinct personalities and tastes, it’s no surprise that the trio would be inspired by a number of different Rap & Hip-Hop acts including such legendary East Coast rappers as Biggie Smalls, Wu-Tang Clan, Redman, Mobb Deep, and Nas, along with the massively influential West Coaster Tupac and the also highly respected, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. It’s because of all these styles and interests coming together, that even though Ill Ruckus can be compared to some of their influences like the Wu-Tang Clan, they’ve also drawn comparisons to the late great Big L, Styles P, G-Unit, and Boot Camp Clik.
Through years of tremendous hard work and dedication both in and out of the recording studio, Ill Ruckus is finally starting to make waves in the industry. Their debut EP has been a long time coming, but they’ve already landed featured placements on several Coast 2 Coast Mixtapes including Next Up Vol. 200 & 206 as well as Hottest In Maryland: Mixtape Vol. 2. Their homegrown website, www.seasonedvetts.com is home to two of the completed tracks, “I’m Sick” and “Spazz On ‘Em” which is complete with its own music video. Combined with their successful live performances, Ill Ruckus’ music is speaking for itself in terms of its quality and message.
This is just a small step towards bigger things for Ill Ruckus as the trio continues to build its reputation amongst fans and other musicians alike. Sidd, Valdeast, and Mr. Smiff are entertainers in the truest sense in that they feel it’s their job and goal to use their God given talents and abilities to positively affect the lives of others. Their music is independent in every way; it comes directly from them and they’re taking every effort they can to push their music forward from Maryland to the rest of the world. The only reason their music exists as it is right now is because they’ve never given up on it or their prospective audience. Their performances and recordings continue to grow better as a means to bring better music to the people willing to love and support independent artists.
Being entrepreneurs as well as entertainers, Ill Ruckus has big plans for the future. As their music continues to take hold amongst audiences they plan to use those sales to create their own studio. This would allow them to continue to be completely independent but utilize even better equipment and create even stronger sounding releases. This would be an exciting addition to the already growing list of responsibilities the trio handles for themselves. Not only do they craft their own songs but they also handle the production, promotion, event planning and networking with other bands and area businesses for gigs. It’s not an easy list of jobs, but it’s all in the name of music and all for trying to bring something positive and wonderful to audiences.
Ill Ruckus won’t rest until their music can reach the ears of the world and bring to them the positive vibes of struggle and triumph that Rap and Hip-Hop can convey so well. Through years of hard living, raising families, and perfecting their musical craft, Sidd, Valdeast, and Mr. Smiff are in the best position yet to accomplish their goals. Behind the strength of material like “I’m Sick” and “Spazz On ‘Em” Ill Ruckus has big things on the way and it’s their hope that their music can find a way to entertain and empower you.
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