While sifting through my buckets of rap-superstar fan-mail each day, I occasionally come across a letter sent regarding this blog. Now since I’m expecting a traffic spike when my new album is released, I figured I’d share a few of the more common questions as a kind of introduction to what this blog is about:
Q: Dear Guante, aren’t blogs for weirdos?
A: I know some pretty great people who keep up blogs, but your point is well taken. “WHY IS GUANTE SO ANGRY” is my space to experiment with the interplay of politics, art and writing. I can do it at my own pace, in my own style. This isn’t an MP3 blog, it’s not an endless string of youtubes, it’s not linking to whatever political issue or indie band is hot today so I can get lots of traffic, and it’s not a collection of well-researched, well-structured news articles or essays. This is me, writing about whatever the hell I feel like writing about, haphazardly. Oddly enough, a certain number of people find that compelling, even when it’s just a whole month of me talking about how great my album is, so I try to post a couple times per week.
Q: Dear Guante, who the hell are you to tell me what to think?
A: In terms of why this blog is special, I guess I’ll just say that I think I have a fairly unique perspective because of who/what I am: I’m a full-time artist (rapper/performance poet), but I’ve also worked as a freelance writer, social justice educator and activist, and more. Because of this cosmic synergy, I tend to have a lot to talk about. It doesn’t always make it to the blog, but some of it does. Also, I’m a genius.
Q: Dear Guante, why aren’t there more pictures on your blog?
A: Shut up. There are plenty. I post pictures with at least one of out of five entries, and if that isn’t enough to tickle your neurons then maybe you should go read a picture book or watch “Waking Life” again. Pictures slow down some browsers too. I’m a writer, damn it; this ain’t Nah Right.
Q: Dear Guante, if I were a hater and wanted to make you look bad, could I go through your old entries and find stupid things you said when you were a 19 year-old kid?
A: No. I’ve never said anything stupid, ever. I am perfect.
Q: Dear Guante, will you review my album?
A: I thought about reviewing stuff more regularly here, but I’m still not sure I want to. For one, I’m very, very critical, and almost any review would be negative. For two, it’d be hard to get past the ethical stuff since I’m also an artist—not impossible (I’ve done it before), but that might cause some unnecessary drama. For three, I don’t get paid for this blog and I’m not trying to give myself assignments.
Q: Dear Guante, I’ve tried and tried, but I just don’t get things like satire or sarcasm or humor of any kind. Can I still read your blog?
A: Of course; just wear shin-guards.
Q: Dear Guante, I want to read your hard-hitting political critiques of the issues of the day, not a recap of your last little rap show in Tinytown Iowa. What’s the deal?
A: I humbly beg for your forgiveness. Honestly, though, I find that it’s hard for me to write about a lot of the issues I care about because I have a fixation on trying to be original and the internet is so full of great information. If that makes any sense. You can read about Iraq, for instance, on a million different blogs. I’ll throw out an opinion here or there if I don’t hear anyone else saying it, but for the most part I try to offer something new. I could post every day about how bad the Bush administration is or how boring mainstream hip hop is, but I’d rather offer a different kind of commentary (see the articles looking at sexism and homophobia in underground hip hop, for example). Also, I blog about my shows moreso for my own records, like a journal or diary—I try to keep a balance between that stuff and the analysis-oriented stuff, but whatever.
Q: Dear Guante, DUDE YOU SHOULD BLOG ABOUT (insert totally-awesome indie rapper here)! HE’S SO COOL!
A: Everyone you love and respect is garbage. Leave me alone.
Q: Dear Guante, sometimes you say one thing, and then in a subsequent post, you contradict yourself. Or you’ll write a post about how a certain kind of song is boring, and then write that song. What gives?
A: You’re just misinterpreting my nuance. Your brain isn’t working at the level it needs to be. It should be fast, like a laser. Also, as far as sins go, one could do a lot worse than hypocrisy.
Q: Dear El Guante, digital revolution blah blah blah Web 2.0 blah blah blah, democratization of media blah blah blah?
A: Indeed. I’ll give a straight answer: I look at this blog as an extension of my art. It’s just about expression, about building community through communication. Being able to reach out and talk to people over any distance is pretty great. I’m as brooding and cynical as they get, but I have to admit that this internet stuff is beautiful.
Q: Dear Guante, will you come be a paid staff blogger for my newspaper or magazine?
A: More than likely. Make an offer. I love the freedom I have here, but I also love eating at fancy restaurants. I’ll sell my soul for some good cheesecake. Holla.