Tru Ruts presents Guante’s CONSCIOUS IS NOT ENOUGH 2011

Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records presents CONSCIOUS IS NOT ENOUGH 2011
Twin Cities hip hop artist’s new mixtape is backed up by real activist work

THE MUSIC:

In 2008, Guante released “Conscious is Not Enough,” a collection of songs written around the idea that while voting in the 2008 election was important, coming together as a community and organizing for change was more important. While hip hop albums—much less mixtapes—don’t generally have thesis statements, CINE was a progressive call-to-arms, a rallying cry for those who believe that hope and change aren’t things you vote for—they’re things you work for.

With the recent turmoil in Guante’s home-state of Wisconsin, revolutions sweeping the Middle East and an assortment of battles taking place in Guante’s current home, the Twin Cities, indie label Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records is releasing an updated, re-recorded and re-mixed version of the mixtape. It will be available as a free download from www.truruts.bandcamp.com on March 29.

Featuring original production from the likes of Big Cats! (Sage Francis, the Tribe), DJ Pain 1 (Young Jeezy, Chuck D), Calvin Valentine (Planet Asia, Phil da Agony) and others, plus a few jacked beats (including the crowd-favorite “Your Boyfriend’s a Republican” performed over the instrumental to Amy Winehouse’s “You Know I’m No Good”), the mixtape is tied together by Guante’s relentless wit, political insight, technical virtuosity and pure, uncut passion for the subject matter. It’s also proof positive that political hip hop can have a sense of humor, and that smart rappers can also be entertaining.

THE WORK:

The mixtape also serves as the official announcement of the MN Activist Project, a database of progressive activist organizations that Guante has pulled together. That database (www.mnactivist.com) will be tied to a promotional campaign aimed at getting more people involved in activism and organizing. The site also includes toolkits and resources for young activists.

“There’s a natural connection between art, media, education and activism,” Guante says. “This mixtape, along with the MN Activist Project, is about drawing attention to that connection and to the overlap that’s already there. Hip hop can put 300 people in the same room who would otherwise never be together; that’s a powerful thing. The website is partly about trying to focus that power.”

Guante, a two-time National Poetry Slam champion, former City Pages’ “Best of the Twin Cities” artist and URB Magazine “Next 1000” artist, is a long-time social justice advocate. His work includes curating the “Hip Hop Against Homophobia” concert series, leading writing and social justice workshops in schools throughout the Midwest and serving as arts coordinator of the Canvas, a teen art center in St. Paul.

NEXT STEPS:

Guante will be celebrating the new mixtape at two upcoming shows. The first, on April 4 at the Whole Music Club at the University of Minnesota (8pm, all ages, free), happens to be the next Hip Hop Against Homophobia concert. The second will be at Cause in Uptown Minneapolis, on April 7 (21+, 9pm, $5).

For more information, interview requests contact Guante (elguante@gmail.com) or Tru Ruts (press.truruts@gmail.com) or check out www.guante.info or www.twitter.com/elguante.

Top 10 Hip Hop Moments of 2009 by 612 to 651

Tru Ruts artists included in Justin Schell’s (612to651) highlights from 2009. Highlights include Hip Hop Against Homophobia, Maria Isa Street Politics release party, K’naan at Fine Line, Fong Lee Benefit and more. Link.

Memorable vocals, a concept album ‘with zombies’ and much, much more

Memorable vocals, a concept album ‘with zombies’ and much, much more
By Ross Raihala

Kyle “Guante” Myhre made a splash last year with his album, “El Guante’s Haunted Studio Apartment,” a disc that got him named an Artist of the Year by City Pages and landed him on URB magazine’s “Next 1,000″ list. In addition to organizing the local Hip Hop Against Homophobia series, he’s also a local and national slam-poetry champion for two years running. He has followed up all that with “An Unwelcome Guest,” his new album recorded with producer Big Cats, whose resume includes work with Sage Francis and Jolie Holland. It’s a concept album, telling the story of “one man moving from east to west in the wake of man-made disaster and his own personal tragedy. Also, there are zombies.” Guante and Big Cats play a CD-release show Saturday at the Bedlam Theatre in Minneapolis with support from No Bird Sing and Kristoff Krane.

Originally posted on Pioneer Press’ TwinCities.com by Ross Raihala on 10 December 2009.

Guante + Big Cats! at Hip Hop Against Homophobia V.3

hip hop against homophobia v3The second all-ages HHAH event! Featuring: Phonetic One, Barton Stink, Ill Chemistry, Guante & Big Cats! Hosted by the lovely and talented Svetlana (aka Heidi Edgeton) and Aimee Renaud.

Open Mic begins at 7pm. Music Starts at 8pm.

The Depot is a renovated train depot in Hopkins, Minnesota that now serves as a coffee house, youth community project, and trailhead for area bike trails. It is an all-ages and chemically-free venue. The Depot Coffeehouse is located at 9451 Excelsior Blvd, Hopkins, MN.

See More Perspective + the Point of View Band at Hip Hop Against Homophobia Vol. 2

hip hop against homophobia v2After a capacity-bursting show at the Nomad in January, and an inspiring all ages show at District 202 in March, Hip Hop Against Homophobia is coming back to the West Bank, bigger and better than ever. We’ve got a whole new line up of queer and ally MC’s and performers, and proceeds will benefit three hard working organizations. Hip Hop Against Homophobia will bring together the Cities’ queer and hip hop communities for an event that combines our incredible music scene with change making and community building. It’ll go down so smooth, you won’t even know it’s activism.

7pm in the Fireplace Lounge: Open community conversation about hip hop and homophobia, queer hip hop artists, hip hop as social justice, gender in hip hop, queer movements for economic and social justice, whatever we want to talk about. Come set the agenda.

9pm on the Main Stage: Show Featuring:

Tori Fixx
Johnny Dangerous
Lindsey of 2 Flytz Up
Bottom Feeders & EZRA of Death Ray Scientific
See More Perspective and the Point of View Band
Poetic Assassins
DJ Blowtorch

Benefiting: Color CoordiNATION, GLBT Host Home Program, Reclaim

Sponsored by: Culturebully.com, Cypher Coalition, Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records, MN GLBTA Campus Alliance