It’s Time to get Ill

Feb 112004
Authors: Chris Hess

Dallas isn’t normally the place to stop for good, honest,

underground hip-hop, but don’t tell that to the boys in Ill

Harmonics. The group, which has been around since 1998, is made up

of two Caucasian MCs and a Caucasian drummer. This not-so-typical

hip-hop group will bring its acoustic, guitar-laced thump to

Everyday Joe’s tonight.

One of the group’s MCs, Playdough, took time to answer a few

questions over the phone while he was waiting for some film to be


How long have you been in the business?

We were on “The Cut” on MTV in 1998, we got signed in 1999 and

released our first album in 2000. We started touring really

hardcore in 2001.

What piece of advice can you offer the average musician who

wants to break on to the music scene?

If you want your music to be anything beyond a hobby, you’ve got

to be dedicated. It has to be your passion. You have to be thinking

of it when you wake up and when you go to bed. That’s really easy

when you’re blowing up, but it gets hard when it’s time to pay dues

and build a fan base.

At the same time, you have to make sure that you keep your

priorities straight, and that’s where I’m at fault sometimes. With

hip-hop, it’s so easy to get wrapped up in the culture that I catch

myself putting it before God and my family.

What are the high and the low points of your career thus


The high point has to be being on MTV. Seventy-two million

people watched “The Cut” that night. They told us that it was the

highest rated show in that slot they ever had. People recognized us

on the street after that.

The low point has to be one time when we were asked to come and

do a couple songs at a speaking engagement a lady that we knew had.

Once we were in there, we realized there wasn’t a sound system. We

ended up rhyming over a CD playing on a boom box, yelling as loud

as we could. I busted up laughing during a couple of songs.

Has Eminem’s success helped open doors for you guys?

Yes and no. No, because it seems like Christian music today just

wants carbon copies of secular artists, so a lot of times fans will

come up to us after the show and say, “You’re exactly like Eminem,

except you don’t curse!”

That kind of reaction just pigeonholes us. I think I’ve been

called Eminem or Slim Shady or Marshall Mathers or whatever in

every battle since he got big. But at the same time, I’m sure that

his popularity has helped open doors for us.

(Who is your favorite non-hip-hop artist?)

Bob Marley or Cold Play

(If you had to sample one of their songs, which would it


“Redemption Song” by Bob Marley. I wouldn’t even put a beat over

it. That song is my jam.

(What artist do you want to open for some day?)

Lauryn Hill

(What’s the best rhyme of all time?)

Posdnuos of De La Soul says, “While others represent, I present

my rep.”

(What’s your favorite Johnny Cash song?)

“I Walk the Line”

(What’s one song you wish you wrote?)

“Rush of Blood to the Head” by Coldplay

What do you hope to accomplish with your music?

I want to gain people’s respect. I want to use it as a platform

to show people my life so they can see that I’m not a perfect

Christian and I want them to see God’s love in what I do.


Ill Harmonics will be playing tonight at 7 at Everyday Joe’s

Coffee House with Trace Bundy and local acoustic talent Josh

Dillard. The show is free, but donations will be accepted at the


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