Q&A With Rising Pittsburgh Based Hip Hop Artist Ill Advanced

We want to thank you for dropping such a dope project recently “Sheep In Wolfs Clothing”, please tell us who is Ill Advanced?

Ill Advanced is a multi faceted artist seeking to inspire and connect through Hip Hop music. I’m a blue collar worker, a father, a son, a brother, and a friend. My ultimate aim on this Earth is to constantly challenge myself, and leave my mark accordingly.

Where are you from?

I’m from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. a.k.a. The Steel City, a.k.a. The City Of Bridges, a.k.a. The Burgh, a.k.a. Pikksburgh, a.k.a. Hell With The Lid Off.

What does the name Ill Advanced mean to you?

Ill Advanced means thinking ahead of the game. Which is also a strategy that is necessary for success. Formerly, I went by GreazyDuzit and made the name change at the same time I had my son this past year. His birth c oinciding with my rebirth.

We notice your style is super original and very creative. Give us a little background on you style and how it came about?

I never really equated my music with a brand. I understand that’s how people operate, especially in our consumer driven society, but I’m a just a regular dude who can rap. That’s something I’ve been trying to master for years. It came about when I was 18 or 19 sitting around freestyling with my friends. Eventually I got into making beats,
started writing to them, and bought a cheap little mic from Best Buy.. from there it was a wrap (no pun intended haha). I fell in love with the process and I’ve been hooked ever since.

We notice your style is super original and very creative. Give us a little background on you style and how it came about?

Thank you. My style came about mainly through listening to artists like The Wu Tang Clan, Nas, AZ, Gangstarr, Mobb Deep, The 3 Bigs (Big L, Big Pun, Notorious B.I.G.), Jurassic 5, A Tribe Called Quest, KRS-One, Busta Rhymes, Kool Keith, Digable Planets, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Company Flow, The whole Def Jux camp, The whole Rhymsayers camp, Homeboy Sandman, Non Phixion, just to name a few. I could go on and on with that one. I was also heavily influenced by The Beatles, The Doors, Van Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Crosby Stills And Nash, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Nirvana, Radiohead, Sublime, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Curtis Mayfield, Otis Redding, Marvin Gaye, Al Green… once again that list is a long one. I also give credit to books like 1984, A Brave New World, The Great Gatsby, The Fountainhead, The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind, The Secret, The War Of Art, etc. And of course, life experiences.. they’re the meat and potatoes of any good music.

Congrats on success of your latest album, “Sheep In Wolfs Clothing”. Feel free to breakdown the creative process of the project. (features, production, etc). Where can people find the project?

Thanks again. There’s no real rhyme or reason to my creative process. I usually sit down to make the beat (or get the beat elsewhere) and from there lyrics start circulating in my head. I put the pen to the paper, or the fingers to the phone, and then record it. The writing process is usually the most difficult. For whatever reason I get waves
of inspiration where i’ll just knock out a bunch of songs on that particular day or week. I had my son on the way during the making of most of the album so there was a new kind of creative energy in the air. There was one feature on the album and that was my dude Kidmental. He’s another local Pittsburgh artist I recently met. He’s
nice, go check him out. You can find the project on most streaming platforms, just google it.

Are you planning on releasing any videos to complement “Sheep In Wolfs Clothing”. Or are you going to let the record gravitate as an exclusive listening experience?

I released a video for “Tom Sawyer” you can find here:

There’s a possibility there will be one more video from the album in the next few months. But there’s a few videos already done from other projects that I’ll be releasing this year. And a few more in the works. I’ve worked with a couple of dope producers this past 2 years including Black Tokyo, Mindframe Da Real, Deep Of 2 Hungry Bros., and Dealz Makes Beats. So be on the lookout for those joints!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Being a brand new year and all, what are a few things you are going to to differently compared to 2018!

Same to you! It’s funny cause I know a lot of people that say, “No-one ever follows through with there resolutions”. Well I’ve made it a point to in the past couple of years to follow through with mine. What
I want to do differently this year is really focus on the business end of things. And make alotta noise. I got a ton of unreleased material coming. I’ve also just signed with Icy Palms Records, who will be releasing cassette tapes for “Sheep In Wolfs Clothing” in February. Go follow us on Facebook or Instagram!

With this industry being so fast pace, being so busy promoting yourself, what advice do you have to those who are barely releasing their first record, and trying to break into the business?

I have a few pieces of advice I’d like to share. One would be to not get too overwhelmed by that fast pace, it’s very easy to do. Always work hard but don’t rush things because then you get sloppy. Secondly, don’t let the critics tear you down. Even those closest to you. Constructive criticism is one thing but hating is another. Use that as fuel to keep pushing towards your goals. Lastly, don’t let your head get in the way. There’s far too many egotistical musicians out there. Life’s too short to be up on a high horse all the time. Stay humble. It goes a long way.

How does social media playing a role in your success? How are fans / supporters helping your movement?

It’s been groundbreaking to be honest. I’ve reached people from all over the world through the internet/social media. To connect to people from all walks of life, strictly through music, is a beautiful thing. I’ve barely scratched the surface though. Ultimately, I’m aiming to touch down in other areas of the U.S. and the whole planet.

With this being an underground hip hop site, we always ask this important question. What is your definition of “underground hip hop”?

Underground Hip Hop to me is having 100 % creative control. Being all about the music, not the fame that can come with it. I’ve always recognized and respected the power and influence music has. As an underground head, It speaks much louder than your image.

Where can people find you on the Internet? Drop all the vital links.

https://illadvanced.bandcamp.com/releases

https://illadvanced777.bandcamp.com/album/sheep-in-wolfs-clothing

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/sheep-in-wolfs-clothing/1445453531

https://www.deezer.com/us/album/80786612

Lastly, and shout out?

Shout out to my all my family and friends. The list is too big to name.. you know who you are. To the Icy Palms camp, 2 Hungry Bros, Black Tokyo, Mindframe, Dealz, SGE Fam, Shindiggaz Fam, Kidmental, DJ Noetik 5000, Jack Wilson, Stillborn, What’s Really Good Radio, A.M. Lurk, Henrik 3000, Billy Pilgrim, Plato Black, and the whole city of Pittsburgh. And lastly thank you UGHH blog for making this happen!  Peace

About Armando Urena Jr

Senior Publisher for @UGHHBLOG // Been an Underground Hip Hop fan all my life and I'm dedicated to keeping the culture alive on a daily basis. Working hard every day and staying positive is what LIFE is all about.