Tru Ruts releases Chantz Erolin’s “Good Company” EP

Chantz Erolin - Good Company Cover (Front) (600pxl)

Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records releases “Good Company” EP
One of the freshest voices in Twin Cities hip hop gets a formal introduction

Yes, that’s his real name.  And no, you don’t have to kick him out of the club; he’s on the bill. What Chantz Erolin lacks in age, he more than makes up for in experience.  At just 18 years old, he’s been a part of the Twin Cities hip hop scene for a very long time, performing at Yo! The Movement events, winning battles, rocking the stage at Soundset 2009 with new label-mate Guante and playing alongside artists like MC Lyte, Naughty by Nature, I Self Devine, Brother Ali and many more.  Over the past few years, you may have seen him sneaking into a 21+ Big Quarters show, ciphering outside South High or winning a youth poetry slam.

Wherever you saw him, though, the odds are good that he won you over.  As an emcee, Chantz sticks out from the crowd with a biting, intelligent sense of humor, nuanced political savvy and songwriting skills that put most other punchline-oriented rappers to shame.  Describing one of his performances, City Pages said: “[Chantz] gave off an infectious energy and suggested his age with goofy asides while belying it with noticeable displays of versatility.”

And nowhere is that energy, versatility and… goofiness more evident than on his debut EP, “Good Company.”  Featuring production by one of the best young beat-makers in the country (Cory Grindberg of Audio Perm), the EP is a brief collection of guitar-driven hip hop tracks “about friends, fashion’s guts, hunger, home, race and family,” as Chantz says.  Featuring laugh-out-loud punchlines, touching meditations on identity and relationships, and lots of poetic details, “Good Company” is the perfect introduction to one of the Twin Cities freshest voices.  Rising indie label Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records recognized this, and will be re-releasing the EP in preparation for a future full-length.

Though he was born in Los Angeles, Chantz is very much a product of the Twin Cities hip hop scene.  At times, you can hear flashes of other artists in his flow: Big Zach’s drawl, Slug’s confidence, Big Quarters’ down-home realness.  But Chantz also manages to transcend his peers and influences by focusing on his own story and offering something new.  If “Good Company” is any indication, TC rap is in very good hands. ‘Good Company’ will be re-released on November 10th.

Sha Cage featured in Mixed Blood’s production of ‘RUINED’

sha cage - wings - uche (500pxl)Sha Cage featured in Mixed Blood’s production of ‘RUINED’

2009 PULITZER PRIZE Winner For Drama
2009 OBIE AWARD for Best New American Play
2009 LUCILLE LORTEL AWARD for Outstanding Play
2009 DRAMA DESK AWARD for Outstanding Play

“…strong and absorbing.” New York Times
“…a crackling thriller, with humor, plot twists, and lots of humanity.” NY1
“…richly textured characters, driven by powerful narrative momentum, pulsating music, and heartfelt compassion” Variety

Mama Nadi, the definitive unlikely heroine, is a shrewd businesswoman and apolitical opportunist in an African land torn apart by civil war. In her makeshift oasis in the Ituri rain forest, miners, government-backed militia, and their opposing rebel forces must leave their differences at the door.

Entertainment and escape await guests at Mama Nadi’s, and joy, hope and love coexist in the most unexpected of places. But is she protecting or profiting from the women she shelters? And how far will she go to survive? For more information:

e.g. bailey curates + hosts Late Nite Series on November 14th


Pillsbury House Theatre proudly presents Non English Speaking Spoken Here: The Late Nite Series, curated by Laurie Carlos and co-curated by e.g. bailey. Late Nite is a transformation of culture where text, music, spoken word, sounds and images weave together in a fearless celebration of new voices and new art. Witness the beginnings of brand new performances as artists from an array of disciplines come together to explore the cross currents of social change, community and identity. Each performance brings new and original acts to the Pillsbury House Theatre stage.

When you attend a Late Nite performance, you’re part of a family and every good family gathering is incomplete without a good meal.  That’s why we always serve up some great food before you digest some amazing art.  Be sure to bring your appetite when you join us for Late Nite.  (There is no extra cost for food.)

Featured artists for Late Nite November 2009 include:

November 14 (8pm – Food, 9pm – Performance)
• Pramila Vasudevan featuring Sarah Beck-Esmay, Romina Takimoto, Chitra Vairavan, and Matt Wells
• Joette Poehler + Love
• Bill Cottman featuring J. Otis Powell and directed by Dipankar Mukherjee

Ticket Prices:
$10 Adults, $5 for students/seniors. Ticket packages are available now (Save $6! Attend all three Late Nite performances for only $24; Save $10! Attend all three Late Nites plus get a ticket to the October 10th performance of King of Shadows for only $40). Single tickets go on sale Aug 24 at 10am.

Chastity Brown opens for Toshi Reagon

chastity brown (dusty) 2 (700pxl)Toshi Reagon with Chastity Brown @ The Cedar
November 15th
Cedar Cultural Center

In some ways, singer Toshi Reagon is a throwback to classic R & B artists, like Stevie Wonder or Prince, or old school rock group like Led Zeppelin; she can take any style, update it, and make it her own with incredible ease. Despite (or because of) her genre-bending, Toshi fits comfortably on a stage at Carnegie Hall, or in a dirty rock club. Toshi is an artist who’s known for energetic performances and a exemplary gift for writing engaging songs that provoke listeners to think and have fun at the same time.

Toshi finds a kindred spirit with soulful opening act Chastity Brown. With her nose ring and her loose dreads sprouting every which way in a free-fro, Minneapolis singer-songwriter Chastity looks like an urban Rastafarian, a Marley-loving Bohemian. When she opens her mouth in song, however, she reveals a complex soul — a country-born, gospel-raised, activist poet who sings about women, race, love and politics with an edgy tenderness.

Tickets go on sale at noon Fri Oct 16 from the Cedar Ticketline (612-338-2674 ext 2), Cedar outlets, and online at Ticketweb. $15 advance, $18 day of show. The Cedar Cultural Center, 416 Cedar Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55454.

Chantz Erolin featured at Sketch tha cataclysm Release Party

Sketch TC Release Party Flyer (700pxl)

Chantz Erolin features at Sketch tha cataclysm’s

November 8th
Shuga Records
165 – 13th Avenue NE
Minneapolis, MN 55400
7:00pm • Free • All Ages

Guante + See More Perspective featured at Hip Hop Halloween

guante + see more - summertime bbq jam shoot (500pxl)

GUANTE + SEE MORE featured at HIP HOP HALLOWEEN Costume Party
October 30th
The Root Note
115 – 4th Street South
LaCrosse, Wisconsin 54601
8:30pm • $3 • All Ages

Tru Ruts presents ‘Return to El Guante’s Haunted Studio Apartment’

Return to Haunted Studio Apartment (600pxl)

Remixed and Re-imagined (again) by See More Perspective

Just in time for Halloween, ‘Return to El Guante’s Haunted Studio Apartment’ is a Frankenstein’s monster of remixes, re-imaginings and brand new tracks from Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records artists Guante and See More Perspective.  Loosely based around Guante’s critically-acclaimed 2008 release ‘El Guante’s Haunted Studio Apartment’, this album finds producer See More Perspective taking Guante’s sound into darker, funkier, weirder places.  The Halloween theme ties everything together, but the real message is something deeper: respect for the spirits, remembrance for the dead and an appreciation of life while it lasts. It’s also funky, however, with See More Perspective’s organic, danceable beats a definite departure from the archetypal Twin Cities hip hop sound. Between the groove-oriented production, the melodic deliveries of both emcees and the flat-out uniqueness of songs like the ‘80s-synth pop tribute “The Fourth Wall (Cellar Door Remix)” and the dynamic yet bittersweet “Dia De Los Muertos,” RETURN TO EL GUANTE’S HAUNTED STUDIO APARTMENT is the perfect Halloween soundtrack, though it’s sure to remain in constant rotation long after that.

“We released a version of this last Halloween, but in the chaos of touring, working on other stuff and just being busy we were never really able to push it as hard as we wanted,” Guante says.  “So we decided to add a few tracks and release it for free as a thank you to everyone who’s been so supportive this past year.  (Evil laugh).”

‘Return to El Guante’s Haunted Studio Apartment’ will be released October 27th on Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records. It will be available for free download until Friday 13th, November 2009. To download the album link here.