ILL Ruckus Trio

“We enjoy networking with different markets that can help us push our material.” – @ILLRuckus_Mowet

Episode #285 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax

Jacqueline Jax logo photoGETTING TO KNOW ILL RUCKUS
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Christopher Gaines aka SIDD
Joseph Gordon aka Valdeast
Matthew Smith aka Mr.Smiff of ILL Ruckus

Music business…
The music business is a fun business. We enjoy networking with different markets that can help us push our material. We keep a small circle of positive individuals around us at all times. We also motivate each other. We have a great team of people behind us that are helping us make our dreams come true.

Pros and cons…

Pros – We hooked up with a booking agent and now we are booked for more shows then we can keep up with. We mainly perform in the Washington DC area. It’s nothing like hitting a stage and people rocking to your music.

Cons – Greed, Arrogance, Jealousy. That’s why we try our best to surround ourselves with positive people. Our focus is to make good music that people can enjoy.

We each started as friends…
who used to freestyle and rap in cyphas. We used to dream about recording in the studio but we never had the access to one. Eventually our dreams came true and a studio was built in our neighborhood it was a nice one. We used to book studio time for hours and make beats and just record. We would record all night until the morning we had our favorite hip hop artist that inspired us but; we also inspired each other. When we hit the studio and write our rhymes, we build off each other. When we recorded our first album Da ILL Ruckus Entourage, we knew we had a different sound people would enjoy. Since the beginning of ILL Ruckus the group has gone into different directions, but SIDD, Valdeast, and Mr. Smiff remain a strong trio.

Hurdles and pitfalls…
The music business is a tricky industry. We have seen ourselves going into the wrong direction working with other artists, but we removed ourselves from those situations quickly. It’s hard to work with other artists also. We like to keep our music within our group. It’s easier to manage things that way. We like to network with other artists though. We don’t mind performing with other artists that are trying to progress in their careers. It takes time and a budget to get things going. If you don’t have either one of them, most likely we’re not interested in working with you.

Social media…
allows us to constantly engage with our audience. It’s cool how you can share with the world something you are creating right at that moment. We want to build our fans. Follow us on Twitter @ILLRuckus_Mowet and Instagram @Seasoned Vetts

Singles vs an album…
are made for radio play. Your single is what people are going to hear before they buy your album. If your single isn’t hot, your album is likely to flop. We are still pushing singles from our Album “Seasoned Vetts Vol. #1” and singles off our new album in the works. We have 2 singles off “Seasoned Vetts Vol. #1” “Spazz On’em”, and “I’m Sick”. Both of those songs have music videos as well.

Our new album in the works will have 3 singles “Inspiration”, “Nightmares”, and “Goodman”. Each of these singles will have a video as well. “Nightmares”, already has a video on youtube the audience can check out right now.

To us singles and albums…
are both important and they compliment each other. Our new album is going to be a “Banger”. We are creating something listeners can play from beginning to end. A lot of work is going into this album. We can’t wait to release it to the world. Be on the look out.

The biggest challenge that we have experienced is…
getting our music out to the listeners. We feel like we have the material people have been missing, but we just not traveling through the airwaves to their radio. We are currently working with some very experienced players in the game now who are helping us get our music heard. We won’t disclose who these folks are just yet, but stay tuned and follow us for more updates.

This song is about the negativity everyone experiences. Not just dreams, but the real nightmares we each face every day. The music industry is full of nightmares. It’s like once our dream came true, we started experiencing nightmares. Lol! We wanted to express how we felt and make it fun for our audience.

We actually shot the video for this song and released it a few days before Halloween this year 2015. The video took 3 days to shoot and we got a lot of good Halloween treats for the viewers. We wanted to give our audience raw lyrics, but a fun video. We hope everyone likes it.

The Album…
Right now everyone can go and grab a copy of our new album just released worldwide earlier this year April 7th, 2015. The album is called “Seasoned Vetts Vol. #1”. The album was released by Tate Music Group (TMG). This album is unique because it is a Hip Hop / R&B album. The Hard Core Hip Hop is mixed in with R&B songs that is quite different than most albums. Seasoned Vetts Vol. #1 was a collaboration album between ILL Ruckus & Mo’Wet. Mo’Wet is a R&B singer the hip hop group recorded their hit single with called “Spazz On’em”. Half the CD is ILL Ruckus and the other half is Mo’Wet. We only combined on one track which is “Spazz On’em”. It has a rock edge to it, raw lyrics, and awesome delivery. “Seasoned Vetts Vol. #1” by ILL Ruckus & Mo’Wet is a great CD to begin a collection of great music by both artists, especially ILL Ruckus. We are almost done with our all Hip Hop album with over 15 tracks of what we like to call “Straight Bangers”. Coming from producer Tilli Mack at Straight Banger Productions. That’s where we record all our final mixes. This new album is going to be a classic album. If you haven’t heard of ILL Ruckus before, you will definitely know who we are this coming 2016.

We live in Lexington Park, Maryland…
which is south of Washington DC. We are close to Virginia also. We represent the entire D.C., Maryland, and Virginia (DMV) area. The music scene in our area is huge. It’s so many artists out here we can’t even name them all. All that matters to us is ILL Ruckus right now. We need to stay focus on what ILL Ruckus is here to do, and that is, create great music. It’s too easy to fall into a trend. The best way for us to keep our sound is to stay focused on the music.

We perform in DC a lot. If visitors to the District, Maryland, Virginia, or anywhere else on the planet want to see us Live visit to view our calendar of upcoming events. We are about to fill our roster for 2016.

SIDD – I like to ride roller coasters. Roller Coasters are my new thing. I want to ride them all. Lol! I also have a new born son who is 5 months old.

Valdeast – I like music. Listening to different artists.

Mr. Smiff – I also perform with a local GoGo Band called Soulful Journey. The gogo band helps me practice for my live shows with my main group ILL Ruckus. I do gogo for fun on the side because I’m a natural percussionist.

Current and trendy…
Music lasts forever whenever it’s created and it is constantly evolving at the same time. We believe a hot beat with sick lyrics is what people want, so that’s what we deliver.

I am most afraid of…
Failure and not getting our music heard.

My personal definition of success is..
We took a long break from making music, but we were finally convinced to record our single “Spazz On’em”. After we recorded that song and video, our career took off. We landed a marketing and advertising deal with Tate Music Group (TMG). With this deal with TMG we were able to release our first album Nationwide and World Wide in select markets. You can purchase the EP album “Seasoned Vetts Vol. #1” on all the major online music distributors such as Itunes, Amazon, Google play, and Spotify.

My over all goal for my life & career is…
Make good music and create a successful career doing something that we enjoy. Eventually, we would like to own our own studio and label, bring in a few artists, and start a few businesses.

3 Ways that I challenge myself…
1) Creating a new song is always a challenge. When we focus on our lyrics, we always try to make the song lyrics sync with the feel of the beat.

2) We are not afraid to be different. We like to be within the trend, but we create our own styles so we can differentiate ourselves from the competition. Our video Nightmares is a prime example of how we go out of the box to differentiate ourselves from other artists. We are not your average day to day artists. What we are bringing to hiphop has been missing from the game in a long time. We are putting our all into this new ILL Ruckus Album in the works. It’s definitely going to be a classic album. People will love it.

3) Networking, Marketing, Advertising, Promotion, etc. are big challenges for us since we are independent. We need help branding our image. We want to be separate from other artists because we are definitely on another level. Visit for more info. and updates about our new album.

Official Website:
Twitter: @ILLRuckus_Mowet
Instagram: @Seasoned Vetts