Andrew “Int3graty” Ruf is not impressed by what he calls “celebrity junk.” He refuses to write music labeled as such and wants to be known as a relatable and relevant artist. It sounds cliché at first but consider this: Ruf will sit at any number of shows, with his CD burner, and make a copy of his latest disc for a fan. He will seal it in an envelope and even autograph it. That type of connection drives Ruf and he hopes it will make a difference when one of his fans experiences success or heartache.
“I make songs about everyday experience so no matter what people are going through, they can find it in my songs,” says Ruf.
“I figure if I can make that one song, maybe I can reach out there and help. Music has always been there for me and I just want to do the same for somebody else.”
Many of those emotions Ruf feels himself, especially anxiety, which he has fought since childhood. His parents divorced when he was 10, well before his rapping days and it was the vibe of Alicia Key’s, “Songs in A Minor,” where he sought refuge. That same album later opening a door for Ruf to the hip-hop genre. These moments still shape his life and career, pointing it away from the glare of that “celebrity junk.” Some rappers do it for sport and others for show, but not Ruf.
“You’re either doing this for a hobby or from the heart,” he says. “There is no in-between. ”
Many of Ruf’s love songs are inspired by his nervous and bashful alter ego, Millard Miles. And more recently, a “certain girl” has brought this forth. Ruf recorded his first love song at 15, although he was writing two years prior. Miles, the alter ego, is afraid to “spit game” and very shy around the ladies. Still the rhymes endure as an offshoot of the vibrant personality that is Ruf.
Ruf was born on June 23, 1992 in Winnipeg, Canada but moved to the United States at age 3. The young rapper is now embraced by his South Dakota home along with followers from Canada, England, Hong Kong, Israel, Australia and New Zealand, as well as some other states in the U.S. And along with Michigan artist “BC” their YouTube video “Roman’s Revenge” boasts 1.6 million views while Int3graty also maintains an endorsement from Loftee Apparel of New York City. His latest release, “Lost Ones,” is a collection of singles which have been hiding out in his “library,” so to say. The “ongoing project” was recently released and will be supported by Ruf’s constant, no excuse work ethic.
“Hip-hop is the hardest thing I have ever done but this is what I want to be known for, so I can’t quit,” he says.