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Here’s some stuff that doesn’t really fit in my “official” bio but that people might be interested in:
If people know me, they usually know me from Button Poetry or my other spoken word stuff. But I’m also an MC. I’ve released three albums with producer Big Cats, including my most recent one, War Balloons.
Aside from my books and albums, I also like making zines.
Most of the actual work that I do is less about my poems or songs and more about *using* those poems and songs as entry points into critical thinking and dialogue. I help design and facilitate a range of social justice education programs, focusing on issues like masculinity, consent, identity, history, and power. More on all that here.
I travel a lot, but I also try to stay as engaged as I can here in the Twin Cities. Over the years, I’ve worked with arts organizations like TruArtSpeaks and COMPAS, the abolitionist collective MPD150, and more. I try to use this website not just as a home-base for my work, but also as an archive of resources that I’ve found useful.
A few old press quotes:
“Part Cormac McCarthy, part Woody Guthrie, and part Public Enemy.” -Justin Schell, TC Daily Planet
“An all-around firebrand… the tracks are political but also personal, impassioned without becoming preachy, and always original.” -Josh Jackson, Paste Magazine
“Their new album captures Guante at his best as he delivers powerful cultural and sociopolitical theses with a blazing clarity, and it serves as excellent companion piece to P.O.S and Brother Ali’s latest records.” -Andrea Swensson, The Current
“Guante and Big Cats create intelligent, political hip hop that mercifully doesn’t come off as preachy or self-righteous. It’s sobering, demanding your attention like a car crash, yet emotional and alarmingly intimate at times.” -Michael L. Walsh, City Pages
“Simply put, he is one of the finest writers in the Twin Cities, and in underground rap writ large.” -Paul Thompson, Impression of Sound