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Antwon Riffs on Martin Lawrence, Danzig, and Sex Marathons

Antwon/ Photo by Jake Giles Netter

The electrifyingly eclectic Antwon is a pop culture obsessive whose grab-bag interests — from thrash metal to avant-garde film to Fox sitcoms — are well suited to his alternately raw and sensitive avant-rap. That freewheeling sensibility, delivered in a deep, unhurried voice over shifting beats, and showcased on the Fantasy Beds and End of Earth mixtapes as well as the recent In Dark Denim LP, have won widespread acclaim for the San Jose MC. SPIN sat down with Antwon to discuss his jones for Martin Lawrence, Meatloaf, and Kid Rock. 

Danzig and Ozzy Osbourne
“For singers, it’s probably a tie between Danzig and Ozzy. I love rock’n’roll. The guitar is an African instrument, and it’s black people music. I grew up feeling that, and later knowing that. But music is music and it all has feeling. With Danzig and Ozzy, it’s the voice and the writing. I fell in love with Danzig’s voice, and I just recently started getting into his lyrics. Danzig II: Lucifuge was my favorite album growing up.”

War Hungry
“War Hungry fucking rule. They’re a hardcore band from Eastern Pennsylvania, near Philly. War Hungry for reals. I saw them play with Trash Talk in the teeniest basement, like the littlest basement in West Philly. It was fucking insane. It was really cool because I had never seen people wearing really nice clothes moshing that hard, really violently. It was some shit like you seriously had to have been there.”

Martin Lawrence and Martin
“Fuckin’ Martin! Fuckin’ love Martin all day. It’s so sad how Martin Lawrence fell off. I still love him to death because that was the show. Martin and probably In Living Color. That shit ruled. I go back to Living Single reruns. Living Single was my shit. They had the best intro song. That show, and fucking New York Undercover. The episode where Ice T kidnapped his son and daughter — that shit was gnarly.”

“I ain’t had a home cooked meal in a while. Fuck, I don’t even know the last time someone has cooked for me. I smoke too much weed and don’t even remember. It’s been so long since my Mom cooked meatloaf. I like meatloaf a lot; Meatloaf and broccoli. I’d have steamed broccoli and put cheese on it when I was a kid.”

Kid Rock’s Devil Without a Cause
“I listened to that shit the other day. Remember the things as a kid, where you would send a penny and you got twelve CDs back? I got the Len CD, Redman, some weak shit, Devil Without a Cause and Weezer’s Blue Album. Devil Without a Cause still holds up because [Kid Rock] produced that whole album. He just did it with another producer who could get his sound to where he wanted it to be. So it’s basically like a real Kid Rock album. He plays all the instruments on there. I kinda want to go see him on this tour. I feel like if I’m gonna splurge on a show this year, it’ll be Kid Rock.”

Harmony Korine and Larry Clark
“Harmony Korine rules. Harmony Korine is definitely weird and I fuck with that stuff. He’s always thinking outside of something. My favorite movies that I really relate to are Larry Clark movies. I swear I watch them and it’s like I ditched school, walked into some party and was like ‘What the fuck?’ [Clark’s] photo book Tulsa is crazy. I remember me and my boy Nick got fucked up one night, sitting in the dark and drawing and shit and looking at the Tulsa book.”

“I’m so manic, I can’t let myself have a day off — I feel like I’m wasting time. But my favorite thing to do on a day off is just lying in bed, having sex all day.”