Sunday, February 24, 2013

New video, Strib feature, interview, free music, booking info and more updates

1. New video for NO CAPES 
This is live footage of what might be the most popular Guante & Big Cats song so far, "No Capes." It's about the mythology of heroism and the very real power we all hold. Thanks again to Patrick/PCP for the footage (he also just released a beat CD). Video below, and you can hear/buy the studio version here.

2. Feature in the Star Tribune and Millwind
Here's an article about me from Chris R. at the Strib that focuses on the new album and on the various social justice-oriented stuff I do, including Hip Hop Against Homophobia. And here's an interview with me in Millwind focusing on art and business-- marketing, budgeting, etc.

3. Guante & Big Cats' "Winter is Coming" featured on compilation
UK-based indie label Choose My Music Records just released a free compilation based on some of the music they've featured on their blog. Included is our track "Winter is Coming," which is one of my favorite songs of ours. A whole bunch of other music too. Check it out here.

4. Addendum to last week's post
Got a ton of positive responses to last week's resource-dump "Six Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Getting Started as an Artist" post. Someone asked me to share some thoughts on performing live, so I added even more to it; check it out at the link above. If I missed anything, leave a comment.

5. New music from friends
I have lots of artist friends, many of whom are still likely under your radar; you should check them out.

  • My frequent collaborator See More Perspective just released "Brain Freeze," the second in a series of seasonal EPs.
  • Dem Atlas just released the "Charle Brwn" EP. This kid is a star. We have a suite of songs together that will be released this Spring sometime too.
  • Kaoz just released "EnterSextions Vol. 1." You may know him from the Hip Hop Against Homophobia shows we've been doing. More on the horizon.
  • Unfuh Qwittable of Audio Perm just released "The Third Shift" EP. One of my favorite young MCs; super unique style.
  • Also, this one has been out for a minute, but be sure to check out Irenic's "Wisdom Teeth: The Art of Pulling Roots."

6. Bring Me to Your City
I've updated the booking info section of this website. Spring is already pretty full, but let's start talking about Fall, especially if you have connections at a college or university. Email me directly at

As always, lots of big stuff on the horizon. Thanks for the support.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Six Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Getting Started as an Artist

A month ago, Big Cats posted this great breakdown of how artists get press attention. It got me thinking more about other elements of the grind, and even though I'm not exactly the most famous artist in the world, I do make a living with it, so I figured I'd share a few things I've learned. Of course, everyone's situation is different, but hopefully some of of this can apply to you, whether you're an MC, poet, singer/songwriter or whatever.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Apology Not Accepted: on Joel Brinkley, Vietnam, and Intent vs. Impact

In a February 1 piece for Tribune Media Services, Stanford journalism professor and Pulitzer Prize winner Joel Brinkley wrote about how Vietnamese people are aggressive because they eat so much meat, especially dogs.

That's an oversimplification of his article, but not by much. Brinkley reached that baffling conclusion after a ten-day tour of Vietnam, and the response to his ill-informed piece was swift, fierce and overwhelmingly critical. For direct rebuttals, you can read the comments section on the link above, or this, or this, or this.

What interests me about this fiasco, however, is what happened next.