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FSD Feature: Alexander Fruchter recalls his 5 favorite Closed Sessions sessions

Photo by Bridges

Alex Fruchter. DJ RTC. Call him what you want, we just call him a Chicago industry legend. Label owner, journalist, DJ, promoter, professor, artist manager — he’s truly done it all. From his early days at & in the early 2000s, to heading up the groundbreaking and game-changing Chicago-based blog, Ruby Hornet; Fruchter has put on for his hometown like no other.

A lifelong hip-hop fan, Fruchter had giant aspirations for his career and his city, and decided to leave Ruby Hornet in 2013 to focus on running his Closed Sessions record label full time. During his time at Ruby Hornet, he operated a well-run, carefully curated and successful site that shined a much-needed light on aspects of the Chicago rap scene that we’re getting enough attention. He later took this focus and turned it into a burgeoning record label alongside another Chicago icon, Soundscape Studios owner, Michael Kolar. The two first joined forces in the early days of Ruby Hornet to create a rather groundbreaking concept: bring artists to Chicago for a concert and studio session to create a one-off record, and in some cases an entire EP.

This unique formula worked — and I’ve never seen it duplicated anywhere — at least with any success. Artists such as Freddie Gibbs, Curren$y, Bump J, Mano and Rhymefest are all part of this fraternity, that has spanned close to 10 years. Since shifting into a full-fledged label, Closed Sessions has released critically acclaimed albums from Kweku Collins and Jamila Woods, and clocked 2016 as their most successful year to date. They just keep getting stronger. Improving is rare in this business, but they continue to grow better by the year — an impressive feat.

This Friday night (March 24th), the Closed Sessions family is throwing a major event at Chicago’s famed Metro, called An Evening with Closed Sessions, which will include performances from their entire roster: Kweku Collins, WebsterX, Kipp Stone, Boathouse, Oddcouple and other special guests, along with a DJ set from DJ RTC.

In celebration of this event, we sat down with Fruchter to take a look back at his five most memorable sessions for Closed Sessions. It’s an enjoyable walk down memory lane, to say the least. Buy tickets for Fridays how here, and check out the list below.

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The Cool Kids announce new comedy show ‘The Shit Show’


Since announcing their reunion a few months back, The Cool Kids have been busy. Just last month, Chuck and Mikey performed in front of a sold out crowd at Thalia Hall in Chicago as part of our Red Bull Sound Select show. And on top of working on their new album, Special Grand Master Deluxe, the duo have also announced a new comedy series called The Shit Show.

Created in part with Chicago director Jimmy Regular, The Cool Kids’ new sketch comedy show should impact in the very near future. Yesterday, they took to Twitter to preview the series, which honestly looks amazing. We just have this sneak peek for now, but there’s surely more on the horizon. The Shit Show, coming soon.

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The Cool Kids reconnect for “Connect Four”


Yes! YES! Now this is what the f*** I’m talking about. Happy Birthday to me. Indeed. Indeed. Back when The Cool Kids announced that they’d be reuniting, this was what I was hoping for. That classic Chuck and Mikey, but with that 2016 twist to it — and “Connect Four” is exactly that. Yeah Connect 4 might be a game, but “Connect Four” is not for play. This joint is too serious, and exactly what I’ve been waiting for.

By now you’ve surely heard that we’re doing a Cool Kids reunion show on December 14th at Thalia Hall, right? Well, if you don’t know…you know the rest. The Cool Kids, Payroll Giovanni and Femdot. It’s gonna be a night to remember. RSVP for $3 entry right here.


[Listen to “Connect Four” here]

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FSD & RBSS Present: The Cool Kids, Payroll Giovanni & Femdot @ Thalia Hall – DEC 14


Art by Ben Lyon

In 2016, FSD alongside Red Bull Sound Select have brought us sold out performances by Soulja Boy, Too $hort and Playboi Carti. And for our final event of 2016 we’re bringing it back home – with a very special performance from the legendary duo, The Cool Kids. I missed them, you missed them, we all missed them — so we thought it was only right to bring them back to Chicago for our year end/holiday extravaganza. The originators, none greater. Yes, the FSD/RBSS holiday event is upon us. our first holiday party and it surely won’t be our last.

It goes down Wednesday, December 14 at the historic Thalia Hall in Pilsen. That’s right, a bigger venue, so everyone can attend. One of the biggest complaints we receive is that we host our events at venues that are too small, so we went way bigger for this one. Thank us later.

Doors open at 8pm, and the show is 18+. Per usual, it’s $3 with RSVP — $10 without. As always, early arrival is strongly suggested.

Rounding out the bill is our Detroit homie Payroll Giovanni, of the Doughboyz Cashout conglomerate. His Big Bossin Vol. 1 album with producer Cardo is one of dopest the projects of 2016, so it’s only right we bring the Detroit Bad Boy to Chicago for his first-ever show in town. You’re going to want to boss your life up for this one.

Holding it down for Chicago is Femdot, one of the most talented young artists in the city. He’s had a breakout 2016, and dropped two next-level EPs. He performed at our RBSS show in Denver, so we wanted to put him in front of his hometown crowd for the year-ender. He has plenty of surprises in store, trust that.

Finally, someguynamedty will be DJing, so please believe it will be a night to remember. He does his thing each and every time he blesses the tables, so don’t miss Shade 45’s youngest in charge.


Location: Thalia Hall

Doors: 8pm

Age: 18+

Date: Wednesday, December 14th, 2016

DJ: someguynamedty

The Cool Kids

Payroll Giovanni



Don’t sleep on RSVPing, we promise it will be an event you won’t want to miss.


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Video: Saint Millie f/ Mano & Sir Michael Rocks – No Heauxs


Directed by Elevator & Noir Films

Man, we’ve been waiting on this video forever. The great news? It’s here. Yes, you can finally watch the long-awaited and heavily-teased clip right now. Three Chicago titans in one black and white clip, that brings us “Flava In Ya Ear” 2016 vibes. This record is a local favorite, so it’s only right they push it to the next level with this great accompanying video. It’s a big win.

Watch it below.

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