With over six million views, “Ten Responses to the Phrase ‘Man Up'” – a poem about masculinity by MC/poet/educator, Guante is really, really worth the few minutes of your day required to listen.
Rather than ramble on about how eloquent the piece is, hesitating over every cliché I reach for, it seems best to let Guante do the talking and concentrate on Hard
Journalistic Facebook Bio Facts.
Guante is a hip hop artist, two-time National Poetry Slam champion, activist, educator and writer based in Minneapolis. He has performed everywhere from the United Nations, to the Soundset Hip Hop Festival, to countless colleges, universities, clubs, theaters, and rallies across the US, and his work has been featured on Upworthy, Welcome to Night Vale, Everyday Feminism, BBC Radio 6 Music, MSNBC, Button Poetry, and beyond.
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 push boundaries in terms of both form and substance. Unapologetically social justice-minded, he’s shared stages with artists like Talib Kweli, Saul Williams, Andrea Gibson, Brother Ali, Dead Prez, Patricia Smith, and many more. Guante also serves as a teaching artist on the rosters of COMPAS and TruArtSpeaks, engaging in writing and performance residencies with youth, as well as regularly facilitating workshops and classes that use art as a jumping-off point for deeper conversations about identity, power, empathy and agency.
Guante also just completed his Masters studies at the University of Minnesota with a focus on the intersections of spoken word, critical pedagogy, and social justice education.”
His real name is Kyle “Guante” Tran Myhre.
He performed at the United Nations Barbershop Conference, 2015. So, apparently that’s a thing.
His latest book “A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry” is available through Button Poetry here.
“One part mixtape, one part disorientation guide, and one part career retrospective, this book brings together spoken word poems, song lyrics, and essays from the past decade of Guante’s work. From the exploration of toxic masculinity in “Ten Responses to the Phrase ‘Man Up’,” to the throwback humanist hip hop of “Matches,” to a one-act play on the racial and cultural politics of Eminem, “A Love Song, A Death Rattle, A Battle Cry” is a practitioners eye-view of the intersections of hip hop, poetry, and social justice.”
Read the full intro chapter, “Ten Things Everyone Should Know About Spoken Word and Slam Poetry,” here.
If you want to know more about Slam Poetry A Beginner’s Guide to Spoken-Word and Slam Poetry (videos) is worth a look too.