Chicago native Michael Trudell Miller tells the good and bad in his rhymes, not only about his surroundings but also about himself. Having grown up in a single parent household like many kids Trudell (or Tru for short) has seen a lot, and that translates to his music. Raised by his dad after his parents divorced, Tru could have followed the path of his older brothers who were both heavily involved in gangs and are currently incarcerated (one for murder and the other for an armed robbery). But instead he chose to put his passion into writing, education, and his music.

“My dad has been the most influential person in my life. Me and my brothers have a different dad. I bet if my dad was their biological dad they wouldn’t be in the situations they’re in now,” says Trudell. “I’ve had my stints with the streets as far as dope goes but my dad always steered me back straight.”

Listeners will feel the realism upon the first listen to Tru’s recently released mixtape A Dream Turned Reality. The eight-song project –already at 100,000 downloads – gives listeners the opportunity to walk in the artist's shoes and see the world through his mind’s eye. He touches on a variety of personal topics including growing up in poverty (“Da Tops Betta than Da Bottom”), fake friends (“I Remember”), dealings with women (“Let a Chaser Know”), and his hometown (“Welcome to the Chi”).

Trudell is already hard at work on his next mixtape titled Focused on the Sky.

When Tru isn’t in the booth, he is touching lives in the classroom. The Columbia College of Chicago graduate is also a teacher. “I felt like outside of music it would be the best and easiest way to touch the youth,” says Trudell. “Young black males need to see a black person who is successful in life instead just seeing D boys because when I was coming up that’s who I wanted to be because they were the only ones doing it big.”

Tru has seen both sides of the game; his music proves that. You can add him to the already legendary Chicago hip-hop scene as one of the next artists to hit it big. After all there is no substitute for real, and you can’t get any more real than what is already Tru.

How do you describe your music to people?
Chicago street soul.  It's the definition of chicago hip-hop.

Tell me about how you originally got into your craft.
I started rapping at the age of 13.  Me and my cousin were big cash money fans.  This was in like 1998.  We both knew we wanted to rap.  Once I graduated high school I went to junior college and realised I should take music more serious.  So I decided to go to Columbia College of Chicago. There I learned a lot about the busines and been trying to crack my way in the industry ever since.

What is your favorite thing to do in the whole wide world?
Perform.  I love feeling the love from the crowd. It's a wondeful feeling when you know that your music is appreciated.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to running your business?
Resouces.  That can be any type.  No matter what the business is you have to have resource before you can do anything.

When you were a kid, what did you think you were going to be when you grew up?
Basketball player.  I just knew I was going to the NBA.  I never knew how difficult that was though.

In what way has your community impacted your development as a musician?
Networking and looking out for one another.  Sometimes there are some people who are out for self but my community pretty much welcomes everyone with open arms.

What other artists out there do you love?
Kanye, Twista, Lupe, and Common.  Lupe is the best to me though.  In my opinion he's the best rapper in Chicago.

What does your future hold?
Success. The sky is my goal and I more determined to reach now more than I have ever been.