As damning as a Spin endorsement can be nowadays, the now all-digital music pub did at least one thing right in the past few weeks, giving weirdo rap savant Antwon his due diligence. Brandon Soderberg touches on a developing issue within rap: the internet offers up interesting artists who seem to have disappeared of late. No genre has taken advantage of this straight-to-consumer marketplace of strange than rap. Now though, the weird seems to have subsided. While iterations stick around, it’s hard to pinpoint a rapper who has stuck with his off-kilter ego as much as NorCal’s Antwon.

The San Jose resident has forged his name with absurdities in both production and content. Without the glitzy ’80s-inspired beats, we might be relegated to listening to another syrup-infused A$AP record and passing it off as “weird enough.” But Antwon doesn’t mince words with the likes of high end fashion or bands of cash. He instead hits us over the collective head with deeper meaning. Yet, his territory is also not within mainstream rap fan’s Kendrick Lamar infatuation either. Antwon dives further into the guttural thoughts your mind has when you’re not paying attention; the carnal tendencies of sex, hate and existence we’re quick to fling from our brains.

His most recent releases, In Dark Denim (2013) and End of Earth (2012) compound on the existential crises Antwon seems to undergo. While his earlier releases, Fantasy Beds (2011) and My Westside Horizon (2011) both trend on cheery, west coast leisure, ‘Twon’s evolution into someone we can see as a real, conflicted person is more than refreshing. In a world where some distinctive quirk has become vital for survival, Antwon shuns the brand of different oft found in quotations. He delivers clipped verses with shotgun strength. Songs are short, but heavy on synthy beats, and loaded with recursive choruses and profane, depraved language (Exhibit A: “Sittin’ in Hell” off End of Earth). The newer tapes hinge on an unholy feeling. His instances of fear, hate and insecurity are exposed in easy-to-miss chunks, typically following jovial, sex-altations over a silky, Northern Lights beat. 

Through it all, there’s never a spare thought that this might be a persona. As intimidating as Antwon sounds—his voice carries a canyon-like sense of monument—his moments of breakdown appear genuine. And as obsessed as he is with sex, it’s likely no more pre-occupied than all of us are behind our veils of privacy. His outward mention of it comes off exactly as he wants it to: “weird.” Unlike some of the other internet-rap brethren who have reached higher heights than Antwon so far, you won’t find him purposely mispronouncing words to make a rhyme or fit in another fashion brand name. 40′s and blunts laced with LSD are more his speed. The possibilities for weird music are endless, but Antwon currently stands as the last bastion of genuine weirdness.

He gives away all of his music too:

Download In Dark Denim and his three other tapes

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