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.

‘One Day in July’ Festival featuring Guante + Brother Ali

One Day in July flyer“ONE DAY IN JULY”

A Street Festival for the Working Class. Remembering 1934–When Minneapolis Became a Union Town. Saturday, July 25, 7th Av N & 3rd St N, Minneapolis Warehouse District

Union activists. “One Day in July” street festival will highlight union courage, culture and sacrifices through music and history.

Youthful supporters of the struggles of union labor will gather again at a street festival and concert they are calling a “counter-Aquatennial” in the Minneapolis Warehouse District on Saturday, July 25 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the historic 1934 Teamster strikes. Headlining the event is famed Minneapolis Hip Hop artist Brother Ali, joined by other volunteer local performers including El Guante, City on the Make, Two Tone Runts, Brass Kings, Mic Crensha, Ellis and Best Bitch in Show.

The festival site at 7th Ave N and 3rd St N is one block away from an intersection where Minneapolis police gunned down 67 strikers on Friday July 20, 1934. Two strikers died of their wounds. “We will never forget the sacrifices the strikers made,” says Jim McGuire, coordinator of the festival and a union shop steward. “After the strike was won, Minneapolis became one of the strongest union cities in the country. We have been benefiting ever since.” “We call our One Day In July celebration the counter-Aquatennial,” McGuire says. “The Minneapolis Aquatennial was created in 1940 by business interests concerned about the tens of thousands of working people who flocked to annual summer picnics organized by the Teamsters union, heard pro-labor speeches and celebrated union culture. At One Day in July, we take back our working class history, culture and traditions.”

Over 1,000 attended the first One Day In July celebration in 2004 on the 70th anniversary of the Teamster labor battles. Headlined by The Strike, City Pages named it “Best Street Festival of 2004.” Organizers expect a larger attendance this summer as a devastating economic crisis creates a renewed interest in unions on the part of younger workers.

Join us in the warehouse district for music and memories on the anniversary of the 1934 Minneapolis truckers strike and the bloody police riot that caused the death of two strikers and the wounding of 65 more. Food and beverage vendors * Exhibits * Information. Honor the working class heroes of yesterday and today! “Those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”

Big Cats! + See More + Chantz to join Guante for Soundset 09

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Guante will be performing at one of the biggest hip hop festivals of the year – Soundset 09. Performing with Guante during his set are collaborators Big Cats!, See More Perspective + Chantz. The festival takes place at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN. Gates open at 11:00am. The list of artists is a who’s who of indie hip hop, with a strong showing of Twin Town talent: Atmosphere, The Pharcyde, MF Doom, Brother Ali, Freeway & Jake One, Sage Francis with B. Dolan, Immortal Technique, P.O.S, El P with Mr. Dibbs & TMQ, Eyedea & Abilities, Abstract Rude + Aceyalone & Myka 9 = Haiku D’Etat with DJ Drez, Prince Paul, Buck 65, Blueprint with DJ Rare Groove, DJ Numark, Heiruspecs, Cunninlynguists, Blue Scholars, Sims of Doomtree, One Be Lo, I Self Devine, Awol One, Mike Mictlan & Lazerbeak = Hand Over Fist of Doomtree, Toki Wright, Grieves, Unknown Prophets, Lil Buddy Mclain, Just.Live, Kristoff Krane, El Guante, Plain Ole Bill, BK One, King Otto, and DJ Nikoless.

Pre-Sale tickets are sold out. VIP and After Party tickets are sold out. But General Admission tickets are still available here.

For more information about the festival, check out the Myspace: http://www.myspace.com/soundset

Soundset Promo Video

Get tickets here.

Tru Ruts adds Chantz Erolin to roster

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Tru Ruts welcomes Chantz Erolin to the roster

At only 17 years old, Chantz Erolin is already being recognized as one of the best up-and-coming young emcees in the Twin Cities hip hop scene. Born in L.A. and raised in the Twin Cities, Chantz is a young Hapa rapper/writer/poet, who has been called ‘scary good’ by his label mate El Guante. Jordan Selbo, of the City Pages, writes, “…[Chantz] gave off an infectious energy and suggested his age with goofy asides while belying it with noticeable displays of versatility…”

Rapping for only 3 years, he has already opened for the likes of MC Lyte, Naughty by Nature, I Self Devine, Brother Ali, El Guante, Big Quarters, One Be Lo, Invincible and more. He won the Voices Merging MC Battle at 15 and was recently nominated for an Urban Griots Award, for Best Youth Spoken Word Artist. Quickly becoming a seasoned performer, he also has several projects under his belt, including the self-released EP, Good Company, an album, as he says, ‘is about friends, fashion’s guts, hunger, home, race and family.’ The guitar-based hip hop album, produced in it’s entirety by Cory Grindberg, another young up-and-comer, features frequent collaborators Facade, Cay-Riss and Phonetic One. The EP has garnered praise from peers and luminaries in the scene, including I Self Devine, who comments, “This is better than I expected––I mean I don’t know what I was expecting, but this is good, this is surprising.”

An activist as well as an artist, he works with Hope Community Center, MN Spoken Word Association, The Walker Art Center, Yo! The Movement, The Loft Literary Center, and participated in the Free Media Conference at the end of 2008. He will be attending Sarah Lawrence College in 2010 but until then he will be writing and producing his first full length album, to be released through rising indie label, Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records.

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Guante featured at Soundset 09

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 15, 2009

Date: Sunday, May 24, 2009 – Gates at 11:00AM CST

Canterbury Park – Shakopee, MN

Rhymesayers Entertainment and Rose Presents bring you the second annual Soundset Festival: the official Midwest kick-off of the summer with over eight hours of the best independent Hip Hop music in one day. It all goes down at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN (rain or shine).

Confirmed artists for Soundset 09 include: Atmosphere, The Pharcyde, MF Doom, Brother Ali, Freeway & Jake One, Sage Francis with B. Dolan, Immortal Technique, P.O.S, El P with Mr. Dibbs & TMQ, Eyedea & Abilities, Abstract Rude + Aceyalone & Myka 9 = Haiku D’Etat with DJ Drez, Prince Paul, Buck 65, Blueprint with DJ Rare Groove, DJ Numark, Heiruspecs, Cunninlynguists, Blue Scholars, Sims of Doomtree, One Be Lo, I Self Devine, Awol One, Mike Mictlan & Lazerbeak = Hand Over Fist of Doomtree, Toki Wright, Grieves, Unknown Prophets, Lil Buddy Mclain, Just.Live, Kristoff Krane, El Guante, Plain Ole Bill, BK One, King Otto, and DJ Nikoless.

In 2008, Rhymesayers and Rose Presents brought the first year of Soundset to an outdoor festival setting at the Metrodome parking lot in Minneapolis with over 14,000 people in attendance, including: two stages with over 40 artists performing, b-boy battles and live DJs throughout the day, live skateboard demos and a low rider car show.

Soundset 09, year two. Atmosphere, fresh off the success of When Life Gives You Lemons, You Paint That Sh*t Gold, the recent reissue of God Loves Ugly and the 34-city When God Gives You Ugly Tour, come back home to Minnesota to headline Soundset 09. The Pharcyde will play the main stage with the full original line-up including: Imani, Bootie Brown, SlimKid3 and Fatlip. Having not played the Minneapolis area since Rhymesayers released the MM..Food album in 2004, the masked man, MF Doom returns for a rare one-time performance! Following the broad critical acclaim for his Undisputed Truth album and his latest EP The Truth Is Here, Brother Ali is set to deliver his raw emotion and political views to the main stage. Freeway, of Roc-A-Fella, and State Property, along with Seattle super producer Jake One, join forces to perform the classics and new material from their upcoming Rhymesayers album, The Stimulus Package. Sage Francis and B. Dolan, co-creators of knowmore.org, are brothers in corporate crime fighting and indie-rap face smashing, will be appearing courtesy of Strange Famous Records. After touring the world, underground legend, revolutionary leader and accomplished battle champion, Immortal Technique brings his political intenseness to Minnesota this May. I’ll Sleep When You Are Dead was declared a four star album and “a symphony of hero-spinning Hip Hop” by AP; El P (a.k.a El Producto) from New York’s own Definitive Jux camp, along with Mr Dibbs & TMQ are confirmed for the main stage. Never Better was declared the “Best Hip Hop Album of 2009” by Alarm Magazine, Rhymesayers’ own, Doomtree member and local hero P.O.S returns for a second year in a row.

With options of a main stage, Fifth Element stage, DJ tent with a national b-boy/b-girl battle, slow & low custom car show and 3rd Lair skate demo, Soundset is guaranteed to bring the fun for the whole family!

Tickets are on sale NOW to the general public through www.ticketmaster.com and Fifth Element. General admission tickets are $30 plus applicable fees (parking is included in ticket price), After Party and VIP options are also available.

Visit our websites for the latest Soundset 09 lineup, music and information! www.rhymesayers.com • soundsetfestival.com • www.myspace.com/soundset

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.8975/title.rhymesayers-announces-2009-soundset-festival-lineup http://pitchfork.com/news/35089-atmosphere-pharcyde-doom-lead-rhymesayers-soundset-festival/