Tru Ruts secures distribution with IDC

Fresh off their partnership with Strange Famous Records, Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records has secured a national distribution deal with Independent Distribution Collective (IDC). IDC, based in the Bay Area, is the distribution home to dozens of labels and artists. They strive to create ‘a whole new avenue for current and next generation artists who are trying to bring their music to the public.’ They have distributed titles for artists such as Lee Scratch Perry, Toots and the Maytals, Bill Ortiz (of Santana), The Future Sound of Breaks, singer songwriters Kim Garrison and Katie Garibaldi, SonicBloom Hip Hop Collective (Bay Area), producer DNAE Beats (Gift of Gab, Mr. Lif, Pigeon John, Universal Records), King Tubby, Bad Brains and others. IDC will begin distributing Tru Ruts titles in January 2010.

Rising indie label, Tru Ruts, recently released Guante + Big Cats! album An Unwelcome Guest, in addition to Start A Fire (Guante + Big Cats!) and The Good Company EP (Chantz Erolin + Cory Grindberg), both of which were chosen as one of the ‘Best of the Midwest: EPs’ (Midwest Broadcast). In genres ranging from hip hop to spoken word to reggaeton, world music and more, Tru Ruts has released a number of critically acclaimed albums and compilations, with a roster of rising artists in their respective fields. For more information, contact Tru Ruts at info@truruts.com.

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

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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.

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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