‘An Unwelcome Guest’ Release Party Video

Live version of ‘Stockholm Syndrome’
featuring Big Quarters + Truthbetold (of The Tribe).

Live version of ‘Yes, God is a DJ; No, Not a Good One’
featuring Eric Blair (of No Bird Sing).

[Courtesy of Culturebully.com]

Strange Famous Records + Tru Ruts partner on exclusive offer

Strange Famous Records + Tru Ruts
to offer exclusive pre-sales of ‘An Unwelcome Guest’

“Earnestness can go wrong in hip hop.  On this album, it goes very right.” –Sage Francis

Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records’ release of “An Unwelcome Guest,” the hip hop concept album from Twin Cities duo Guante & Big Cats, will be available exclusively through Strange Famous Records until its official release on January 12th, 2010.  The indie-rap powerhouse, home to Sage Francis, B.Dolan, Prolyphic (who guests on the album) and other forward-thinking artists, will sell the album through its web-store at www.strangefamous.com.

Following the pre-sales period, rising indie label, Tru Ruts, will make the album available in stores and other distribution outlets, however, ‘An Unwelcome Guest’ will continue to be available via digital download through Strange Famous Records.

“An Unwelcome Guest” tells the story of one man fleeing the zombie apocalypse.  It may sound original, but isn’t.  The post-apocalypse concept has been done to death.  What is original, however, is the way the duo plays with perspective, pushes the boundaries of hip hop narrative and somehow makes a love story about zombies, superheroes, displacement, violence, struggle, and America work.

Big Cats’ beats could almost tell the story themselves—intensely cinematic, the production walks the line between crazy outer-space simmering funk and straight-up hip hop bangers.  Guante, part of the championship 2009 National Poetry Slam St. Paul team, writes like a poet but doesn’t rap like one—the songs are hook-driven, dynamic and instantly quotable.  Unapologetically political, unflinchingly descriptive and undeniably ambitious, the album is the duo’s first full-length collaboration.

Listeners who buy “An Unwelcome Guest” through the Strange Famous store will receive a signed copy of the album, a free instrumental CD, a limited-edition sticker and a booklet by Guante containing song lyrics, commentary and pictures.

SPECIAL NOTE FOR TWIN CITIES RESIDENTS:

Though the album’s official release (for record stores, ITunes and other retailers) will be in January, Twin Cities residents will have an exclusive opportunity to get it on Dec 12 at the Bedlam Theater during the special Twin Cities release party.  Joined by No Bird Sing, Kristoff Krane and the Tribe, and backed by a live band featuring members of Dragons Power Up, Guante & Big Cats will play the album in its entirety and sell physical copies of the album for one night only (10pm, 18+, $7).

Guante + Big Cats Release Party Promo on Pwelbs.com

In anticipation of the new album from rapper Guante and producer Big Cats – the fellas threw together a quick video of punchlines and MPC to promote the album and their upcoming album release party which will also feature performances from No Bird Sing, The Tribe and Kristoff Kane.

Very much looking forward to hearing the album. This would should be pretty dark. Look for An Unwelcome Guest dropping December 12th.

Originally posted on Pwelbs.com.

Guante + Big Cats: ‘An Unwelcome Guest’ CD Release Party

Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records presents:
Guante & Big Cats: “An Unwelcome Guest” CD release party

Mark your calendars.  December 12, 2009 will be the Twin Cities release party for Guante + Big Cats’ debut LP, “AN UNWELCOME GUEST,” at the Bedlam Theater in Minneapolis.  Supporting acts will include No Bird Sing, Kristoff Krane and The Tribe.  The show will be 18+ and start at 10pm.  Tickets are $5 in advance, and $7 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at Fifth Element. Bedlam Theatre, 1501 – 6th Street South, Minneapolis, MN 55454.

AN UNWELCOME GUEST is a hip hop concept album from Twin Cities producer BIG CATS and rapper GUANTE.  Over fifteen tracks, the album tells the story of one man moving from east to west in the wake of a man-made disaster and his own personal tragedy.  Also, there are zombies.

The album features guest appearances from HALEY BONAR, PROLYPHIC (of Strange Famous Records), BIG QUARTERS, CHASTITY BROWN and ERIC BLAIR (of Hyder Ali and No Bird Sing).  Through the album’s unique narrative frame, these artists join Guante in exploring issues of displacement, authority and the difference between the violence of the oppressor and the violence of the oppressed.  Also: zombies.

Stay tuned.  Much more (including the first single, some exclusive video stuff and more announcements) coming soon.

An Unwelcome Guest Release Party Flyer (Back) (700pxl)

Chantz in River Falls w/ The Tribe, Big Zach + Pseudo Slang

chantz - tribe - psuedo slang - river falls (700pxl)

Guante + Big Cats! w/ The Tribe (plus Chantz) at UW Stout

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Blue Devil Productions is proud to present Guante and Big Cats! with The Tribe. The artists are scheduled to perform at the University of Wisconsin-Stout on Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 8 p.m. in the Underground, located on the lower level of the Memorial Student Center.

Producer, musician, and visual artist Big Cats!, will be performing with Minneapolis emcee/slam poet Guante. Taking advantage of a multitude of instruments and sounds, producer Big Cats! blends his atmospheric hip hop perfectly over whomever he is collaborating with. Drawing upon influences such as RJD2, Prefuse 73, or even Dosh, Big Cats! beats and production tastefully weave through instrumental passages while creating memorable hooks. Guante features insightful, socially conscious lyrics, expanding upon themes of political unrest and personal turmoil. His smooth delivery is not demanding of your attention, but that doesn’t mean that his words should fall on deaf ears.

Minneapolis/Menomonie newcomers The Tribe, featuring members TruthBeTold and DJ Pete, are steadily gaining notoriety for their upbeat and intelligent hip hop. Relying heavily on the use of samples, DJ Pete’s production is a nod back to other eras of hip hop and rap. The equable style of TruthBeTold features lyrics that are both discerning and honest. Still performing off their March EP release, Supply and Demand, the group demonstrates a more polished and though-out effort that will certainly gain more attention in the local hip hop scene. The future of Twin Cities hip hop has worthy disciples in The Tribe.

This event is sponsored by Blue Devil Productions of the University of Wisconsin-Stout and is FREE to all. Go to bdp.uwstout.edu for more information.

Free Download from ‘Start a Fire’ on Culturebully.com

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FROM CULTUREBULLY.COM: “Life ain’t short, it’s just a lot of people waste it.” This could simply be coincidental, but it’s fitting that the tracks on Guante and Big Cats!’s Start a Fire EP have been edited and cut down to their most basic, wasting nothing in the process. It’s not that Big Cats!’s beats are any less flowing or robust than normal, or that Guante’s lyrics are any less poignant—the EP simply takes the duo’s abilities and projects them at their most concentrated. One shining example of this is the remix to “One of These Mornings;” the track that the previously mentioned quote comes from. Despite coming in at nearly a minute shorter than the original, nothing feels lost between it and the remix. If anything, the flute-based beat of the remix adds a fresh complexity to the track that allows it freedom while shedding the excess.

Guante has offered up some commentary on the duo’s site for their upcoming full-length release, An Unwelcomed Guest, including these thoughts on the remixed “One of These Mornings”:

The success that the original version of this track had really caught me off guard. The Current picked it up and was playing it every day this past Fall, and everyone was telling me how it was their favorite song on “El Guante’s Haunted Studio Apartment.” I liked it a lot as a recorded track (Eugene, OR producer G-Force put together a beautiful beat), but wanted a more lively, uptempo version to play at shows. Big Cats! delivered. One note about the lyrics: I think a lot of people hear this as a “slice of life” song, a song about me walking around and talking to random people. The song is about DEATH. The sample in the original (and the hook in the remix), “one of these mornings, you’re going to rise up singing,” is referring to the fact that someday you’re going to die. It’s from Porgy and Bess, “Summertime.” Again, I like this song a lot, but the live version with our band is on another level.

In collaboration with Tru Ruts, Culture Bully is proud to present Guante & Big Cats!’s release show for the duo’s new Start a Fire EP. The duo will be joined by Chastity Brown, See More Perspective, the Tribe and Chantz. The show will be at the Nomad World Pub on the West Bank Saturday, May 9 @ 9:00 p.m. Entry is only $5.

Click here for the free download.

Guante + Big Cats! Start A Fire

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Twin Cities hip hop duo Guante & Big Cats! to release EP on May 9
Seven-track album foreshadows a late-2009 full-length

Above the Fold called El Guante & Big Cats! the Twin Cities’ best up-and-coming MC and producer, respectively. Their first release as a duo, a seven-track EP released through respected indie label Tru Ruts/Speakeasy Records entitled “Start a Fire,” will attempt to live up to the hype.

Featuring the remix to Guante’s 2008 surprise hit “One of These Mornings” (as heard on 89.3 The Current), as well as the tattoo-lover’s anthem “Old English Letters,” superhero allegory “The Hero” and bittersweet love song “Dragons,” the EP showcases the depth of thought, gallows humor and political insight that made Guante one of City Pages“Artists of the Year,” URB Magazine’s “Next 1000,” an Independent Music Awards nominee and a CMJ Spotlight Artist for 2009.

Producer Big Cats!, fresh off of producing Sage Francis’ “Black Out on White Night,” as well as his own critically-acclaimed instrumental hip hop album “Sleep Tapes,” is in top form as well. His production is melancholy, multi-layered and cinematic; a definite stylistic departure from the standard TC hip hop sound.

“Start a Fire” is the prelude to “An Unwelcome Guest,” the duo’s full-length concept album due out in late 2009.

“People always talk about how over-saturated the Twin Cities hip hop scene is,” Guante says. “And if you’re just looking at numbers, sure; everybody’s cousin raps. But beyond that, there’s such a wide range of styles, and people really pushing at the boundaries of what hip hop is; it’s a very exciting time and place. I look at acts like Hyder Ali, Kristoff Krane, our band and a handful of other acts, and I see a community of artists who have a fundamentally different approach to making hip hop music: respect the foundation, but don’t be a slave to it. Push people, both musically and in terms of lyrical content.”

The release party for the EP will be Saturday, May 9 at the Nomad. Rapper Guante and producer Big Cats! will be joined for their set by a live band including members of local rock outfit Dragons Power Up; Big Cats! himself plays live MPC and bass guitar. Chastity Brown, The Tribe, Chantz and See More Perspective also open. See http://deadrunning.blogspot.com for additional information on the collaboration. To request interviews or additional images, please contact info@truruts.com or 612-288-9491.

Guante & Big Cats! “Start a Fire” EP Release Party
Saturday, May 9 at the Nomad World Pub in Minneapolis
Featuring Chastity Brown, the Tribe, Chantz and See More Perspective.
9pm | 21+ | $5.

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