Speakeasy with J. Ruckus 


J. Ruckus is a local underground rapper who recently performed at the Benchmark Battle of the Bands.

Q: Do you think what is happening in the Indy rap underground could be successfully brought to the forefront?

[It’s all about] taking it back to the roots and performing in the clubs. There’s some good music in this city, but the media won’t cover it.

Q: Is it possible that the lack of coverage to the underground is in part due to the unknown artists’ lack of self-promotion rather than just negligence on the part of local media to cover it?

It’s all about the money. Some of us don’t have the bank to get the music where it needs to be. Look at the Mudkids. They were on Surf Records and went over big in Broad Ripple, but you could not give a Mudkids CD away in the hood. Look at Dead Prez; Let’s Get Free had to be one of the best hip-hop CDs made, one of the best hip-hop groups ever and they got dropped off Loud and dropped CDs underground. No one was checking for DP. It’s almost like without the big boys you don’t count, so we’re under the radar and a lot of the stuff I do has political content. That’s a hard sell.

Q: Who do you see as the most overlooked artists in Indy?

J Ruckus, Chazz, Jusssumfuc, Mack Bone, Katch 22, Seville c-4.

Q: Why do you think there are being overlooked?

Some of us are saying things some people don’t want to hear. It’s not safe if it ain’t fluff or pimped out thugged out or that same old same, so it is a matter of time. I see hip-hop coming back to its roots.

Q: Why do you think suburban white kids are so into hip-hop?

It can be raw like the bands at the Patio were dope, but with hip-hop you get it uncut right to the point. Music should make you feel something, like love songs; a good one will make you think about your first love. Hip-hop can do that but to the fifth power. It keeps the youth in loop to what is going on outside their hood. Some things you would never know about if hip-hop did not talk about it. Some good, some bad.

Q: Do you think you have to be able to identify with it in order to listen to it?

No. It’s about how good you can tell a story and if I feel what I’m saying people will feel it.

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