I first found out about Bay area rapper Antwon from a tweet. A little over a month ago I saw Dark Sister tweet this bizarre statement: “We would buy the tears of Antwon.” I thought what? Who is this guy? Of course, that led me to Antwon on the wonderful world of twitter and led me to find out he’s a rapper and an incredibly talented one at that. He’s super passionate about music and he’s a very down-to-earth, cool dude.
I interviewed Antwon via phone recently and we talked about 90s R&B, Mortal Kombat, Joanna Newsom and more…
Your whole album My Westside Horizon is produced by Bad Slorp. How did you meet him and start working with him?
Antwon: We have a mutual friend who’s his stepsister. One day she came to pick me up from my job and he was in the car. He was playing on one of those Casio samplers. He was joking around, cussing into it and then playing it. He showed me some of his stuff from a group called alter ego he had in highschool. I hit him up over the internet like “Yo, would you wanna come record some stuff?” and that was it.
And that led to you guys doing a whole album.
Antwon: Yeah that was a long time coming. We’ve been making music since like ’05, ’06. We’ve been making music off and on since then. For a while I stopped making music.
What were you doing when you stopped making music?
Antwon: I was painting. I was playing in this band in Philly. I moved out to Philly for a minute.
What did you play in the band?
Antwon: I was playing bass. It was a punk band.
Really? That’s awesome. Are you still into punk?
Antwon: Yeah definitely! Through punk I realize I could actually do stuff, you know? Like I don’t have to wait around for someone to give me an opportunity. I don’t have to wait around for someone to do merch or do CDs or anything.
I felt like I had to ask this question and a lot of people might ask you this all the time but…you’re voice sounds like Biggie quite a bit and you even quote Biggie as the first line on Westside Horizon “I grew up a fucking screw up.” What exactly about Biggie has influenced you? And, are you sick of being compared to Biggie?
Antwon: I think Biggie is fucking awesome. Ready To Die is one of my top favorite albums for real. I used to get high by myself, listen to that and create and draw. I think it’s cooler than being compared to someone newer, you know what I mean? Like, if someone said “you sound like Rick Ross” I’d be like “No. Do you say that because I’m a fat guy with a beard? No way.”
Yeah, Biggie’s a legend.
Antwon: Yeah a lot of the hip hop I’d listen to was rugged east coast stuff like Biggie.
That’s interesting because all the tracks on My Westside Horizon are chill and laid back. Like, you’re style is pretty far from “rugged” on there. Do you see yourself making more intense music ever?
Antwon: Oh yeah. I’ve got some new stuff I’m working on that’s some different shit. It’s not all gonna be Bad Slorp’s production. He’s on there for a few tracks, but there’s definitely gonna be a different sound to my new album.
Hit the jump for the rest!
Zachg (who writes for Mishka) did the mixing on Westside. How did you meet up with him?
Antwon: Through Shadowrunners. My boy Himself The Majestic from Shadowrunenrs came up here for a show. It was an Iggy Azalea show. Shadow Runners opened. We didn’t really get to meet her. I didn’t really talk to her. Himself did though. I was like “Wow. She’s really tall…”
Yeah. I haven’t heard a ton of her music. I saw one Iggy Azalea video. She’s like a model.
Antwon: Yeah she’s really pretty. I didn’t want to talk to her. I was a little drunk so I didn’t want to make a fool of myself. Anyway, Zach was at the show and we all just chilled after. He’s a cool guy.
Speaking of Shadowrunners, your song Himself is on “Wave Of Nature” is great. Himself’s stuff with Shadowrunners is pretty intense for the most part. On your song he switches that up completely and does like a love/sex rap. I think he pulled that off really well.
Antwon: Oh yeah.
You have a group with Himself, “Nature Boy Gang.” Is that group just you and Himself or are there others, too?
Antwon: It’s me, Noob Saibot…
“Noob Saibot?” what a great name. That’s Mortal Kombat.
Antwon: Yeah, he’s in a group with Boon Tobias. It’s Noob Saibot backwards.
Oh yeah. Awesome. Are there other people in the group, too?
Antwon: Yeah, Deecee and Froskees. We have other friends, too…Ruedog Solis. Eddie Bro-Time.
Most of Westside Connection is about girls. Is that something you write about most or was that just the plan for the Westside album?
Antwon: Yeah. I’m way into R&B. 90s R&B especially. And that’s all about girls.
That’s cool, man. I like a lot of that stuff, too. R. Kelly especially.
Antwon: Yeah on a lot of my new stuff I’m singing more. Like I’ll sing the hook. You know, I’m a man who likes women. I like women and I like getting fucked up. So I write about that. I’m a normal guy. But, I’m also not a normal guy. You know?
Yeah. Well, if you were a “normal guy” you probably wouldn’t be rapping.
Antwon: I’d feel cheated if I had a normal 9 to 5 or went to school for a normal 9 to 5.
We were talking about Joanna Newsom a couple weeks ago and it really surprised me you like her stuff.
Antwon: Yeah that Milk Eyed Mender album is great.
Is there other music you’re listening to outside of hip hop and punk that’s influencing the stuff you make.
Antwon: Yeah I listen to a lot of stuff. Mainly the different music I listen to influences my beat selection. I’m into a lot of 80s electro. Like high energy stuff. I’m into a lot of Drum n Bass, too.
Awesome. That’s pretty much all the questions I have. Do you have anything else you want to say?
Antwon: Yeah. I wanna give a shout out to Kyle Pellet. He did the artwork on Westside. My boy OPSKICHAN did the cover art and the logo for Fantasy Beds.
Oh, that’s an older project you did.
Antwon: yeah it’s on my soundcloud. Shouts out to Barry Bonds, Persevere…Some other people too. Shouts out to Main Attrakionz and Dream Collabo. Shouts out to Cities Aviv. I’ve got some shit with Cities coming out…
Oh yeah, you and Cities have a similar swag that’ll be dope.
Antwon: Yeah he’s into Punk, too. It’s gonna be major. Shouts out to Ryan Hemsworth. And L.W.H…I remember when I first found out about “Unforgivable” that was my shit. I remember being high in the kitchen at like one in the morning watching “Unforgivable.”
L.W.H did that?
Antwon: Yeah, he filmed it.
Wow. I would watch that all the time when I first found that on Youtube back in the day I watched it all the time and that shit really cracked me up. To know that L.W.H worked on that is crazy.
Antwon: Oh yeah. It’s amazing. What other shout outs do I need to say…Oh, shout out Zachg. Shout out Big Baby Ghandi and DJ Two Stacks and Isaiah Toothtaker…oh yeah for sure shout out to Nature Boy Gang. I should’ve said that in the first place. Shout out to all my friends. They take care of me and shit. Hopefully I’ll be in a place someday to take care of them.
Make sure you check out Antwon’s Bandcamp and Soundcloud and give his music a listen. A good deal of this interview was about his most recent release My Westside Horizion which is a great. It’s fun and funky and really creative. But, you don’t have to take my word for it,- Nick Vogt