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Photo by Jon Behm; click for more
Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre is an MC, two-time National Poetry Slam champion, activist and educator. His work explores the relationships between identity, power, and resistance, and has been featured on Upworthy, Welcome to Night Vale, Everyday Feminism, MSNBC, the Huffington Post, and beyond. Garnering over ten million views online, Guante has also performed live at the United Nations, given a TedxTalk, and presented at countless colleges, universities, and conferences.

Whether deconstructing traditional notions of masculinity, challenging dominant narratives related to race and racism, or just telling stories about the different jobs he’s had, Guante strives to cultivate a deeper, more critical engagement with social justice issues, one based in both empathy and agency. An educator as well as a performing artist, Guante completed his Masters studies in 2016 at the University of Minnesota with a focus on spoken word, critical pedagogy, and social justice education; in that spirit, his performances use poems as jumping-off points for authentic dialogue, critical thinking, and community-building.

Guante's debut book, a mixtape-style exploration of the intersections of art and social justice, is available now. For booking info, click here.

Contact: elguante@gmail.com

YEARLY RECAPS:
2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

PRESS QUOTES:

"Giving you something to think about while nodding your head to his nimble, casual flow, Guante could very well follow Atmosphere and P.O.S. in the long line of outstanding rappers to break out from the Midwest." --CMJ Artist Spotlight

"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

"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

"Earnestness can go wrong in hip hop.  On this album, it goes very right." --Sage Francis, Strange Famous Records, on Guante & Big Cats' "An Unwelcome Guest"

"Whether writing of lost causes or zombie apocalypses, Guante demonstrates impeccable artistic control; in performance, he has the audience's undivided attention." --City Pages "Best of 2009" Feature

"Simply put, he is one of the finest writers in the Twin Cities, and in underground rap writ large."
--Paul Thompson, Impression of Sound

"...Guante has a deft sense of humor and style in his arsenal, along with a battle-hewn tongue that rattles off sharply-spit rhymes and high-concept narratives... Guante's lyrics go deeper than the familiar comic-book premise into an authority-questioning meditation on violence that'd do John Romero's most allegorical moments proud." --Nate Patrin, City Pages

"...one of the best rappers in the Twin Cities today, not to mention its best spoken-word poet."
--Jon Behm, Reviler

"Guante quietly rolled into the Twin Cities' hip hop and spoken-word scenes with a hand grenade, and pulled the pin.  If you look anywhere in those scenes now, you'll see his shrapnel buried deep in every wall." --City Pages "2008 Artists of the Year" Feature

"Shocking as it may be, somehow between writing plays, literature and poetry and organizing politics, this Minneapolis renaissance man still finds a way to hold down a rap career.  Chock-full of biting political commentary... this guy is attempting to carry the Twin Cities on his back." --URB Magazine "Next 1000"

“Since he emerged in the Twin Cities a half-decade ago, Guante has built an artistic empire of forward-thinking ideals. Assertions on gender issues, institutional racism, class warfare, identity politics, and homophobia, among other progressive causes, show up in his work paired with the haunting stomp of Big Cats bangers as the backdrop.” –Jack Spencer, City Pages

“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

GRANTS AND AWARDS
  • MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant - 2012
  • National Poetry Slam champion (Saint Paul team) - 2010
  • National Poetry Slam champion (Saint Paul team) - 2009
  • VERVE Grant (through Intermedia Arts) - 2009
  • Grand Poetry Slam Champion of St. Paul (2009), Minneapolis (2008, 2012) and Madison (2006)
  • City Pages’ “Best Slam Poet” - 2009
  • City Pages’ “Artist of the Year” - 2008

NOTABLE APPEARANCES (Keynotes, Performances, and/or Workshops)
  • Eaux Claires Festival - 2017
  • TEDxUMN at Ted Mann Concert Hall - 2017
  • ArtChangeUs/Design for Equity Conference at the Minneapolis Institute of Art - 2016
  • MN Campus Sexual Violence Prevention Summit - 2016
  • University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts Student Conference - 2016
  • University of Minnesota – Duluth Summit on Equity, Diversity and Multiculturalism - 2016
  • Midwest Asian American Students Union Spring Conference - 2016
  • Overcoming Racism Conference at Metro State University - 2016
  • Creative Mornings Minneapolis Presentation at the Minneapolis Institute of Art - 2016
  • United Nations Barbershop Conference on Gender Equity - 2015
  • Words Beats & Life’s Remixing the Art of Social Change Teach-In at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC - 2015
  • Building Bridges Conference at Gustavus Adolphus University - 2015
  • UW-Madison Symposium on Race - 2015
  • Equilibrium Super Show at the Loft Literary Center - 2015
  • US Department of Justice Conference on Gender Violence Prevention - 2014
  • American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Social Justice Institute - 2014
  • Safe Schools Youth Summit - 2014
  • American Multicultural Student Leadership Conference - 2013
  • BACCHUS Peer Mentor Conference - 2013
  • Hope Rocks Gala - 2012
  • Dawn of a Dream Children's Cancer Research Fund Gala - 2011
  • 80/35 Festival - 2010
  • Soundset Hip Hop Festival - 2009
  • Ripple Effect RNC Protest Concert - 2008
  • Hip Hop Against Homophobia concert series (primary organizer and performer)

PUBLICATIONS: