Don’t call it a comeback.
This Friday, Newton hip-hop group Tru Dimensions is not only hosting its “Back on Stage Party,” but they are having it at American Legion Post 111, which famously held the very first “official” hip-hop concert in Newton’s history.
“We packed this place before Facebook,” Justin “J.V.” Van Weelden said, motioning toward the open space inside the bar area of the Legion.
Tru Dimensions is made up of rappers J.V., Eric “Durty Erk” Hartz, Jason “Nutz” Gorusch and producer/sound engineer Justin Hartz.
The group began a hiatus when Nutz moved away from Central Iowa to continue his education. This led J.V., Durty Erk and Justin Hartz to form another group, VanHartz. J.V. recently got married, and for his honeymoon, he and his wife went to Colorado and paid Nutz a visit.
“(Nutz) and I started talking, and he talked about how frustrated he was because we never got some stuff done and we really believed in the music still,” J.V. said. “So, we kind of started talking, and we were like, ‘Let’s do another Tru Dimensions show and get the album done.’”
When J.V. returned, he told the rest of Van Hartz the idea, and he said Justin Hartz “got real serious about it.”
“I was getting kind of sick and frustrated of not doing music,” Justin Hartz said. “I started wanting to make more music and we started working on the VanHartz album and then we started working on the Tru Dimensions album and kind of went from there.”
Tru Dimensions won’t be the only artist rocking the microphone at the “Back on Stage Party.” Newton’s own Young Drew is slated to perform as is B-Lo, Rypt the Ripper and The Legacy. Nutz will also perform some of his solo material under the pseudonym “Cassius Jonez” and VanHartz will perform as well.
Tickets are $5 at the door, raffle tickets will be sold for $1 and prizes include bar tabs and Tru Dimensions gear. The show is 18 and older, doors open at 7 p.m., and the performances begin at 8 p.m. The group plans to use the funds from the show to finance the first Tru Dimensions album.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Durty Erk said.
The guys have been rehearsing and practicing to regain their stage presence as Tru Dimensions, which made J.V. feel a bit nostalgic.
“I was really focused on VanHartz for awhile, because Tru Dimensions, it just seem like it kind of faded away. Since we’ve been practicing for the Tru Dimensions show, I’ve realized how good the songs truly are and the potential for them is just endless,” J.V. said. “So now, I’m all about Tru Dimensions right now and we all really believe in it.”
One reason Tru Dimensions went on hiatus was the difficulty in promoting the group in the pre-social media era.
“It was just kind of hard getting stuff out there,” J.V. said.
The group members also began getting married, having children and taking different paths in life. However, they could never fully let music leave their lives nor could they disappoint the fans that had supported them throughout the years.
“Everybody kept asking, ‘Hey, when’s the Tru Dimensions album coming out?’” Durty Erk said.
“It’s left a hole in my heart that we actually never got that done,” J.V. said of a Tru Dimensions album. “Now, we are going to fill it.”
Staff writer Ty Rushing may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 426, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.