Review Summary: Antwon creates a fun and energetic album End of Earth
, Antwon’s 2012 mixtape shines a spotlight on the Bay Area rapper as a versatile and eccentric talent. His deep bellowing voice and delivery has garnered comparisons to the Notorious B.I.G. and has made him an interesting figure in the periphery of the mainstream rap scene. This album is a great take-off point for those looking to explore the world of Antonio Williams a.k.a the rapper Antwon.
His production is lush and smooth, combining ambient instrumentals and jazz influenced rhythms to create playful beats. What makes this album such an engaging listen is the combination of sound and delivery. Song after song Antwon unveils his personality. One moment he’s melancholic about love, the next he plays seducer or transfigures his rage into self-worship. This all plays out over the diverse setting of sound, as one beat could be punk angst while the next carries a moody, pop-oriented flavor.
In the opening track, “Laugh Now,” the hardcore atmosphere suddenly vanishes with the airy and bouncy “Living Every Dream.” What follows is the ambient, synth heavy “Lap of Luxury,” where Antwon attacks the beat with an almost rushed urgency, creating a juxtaposition between his bellowing voice and the smooth wave the song lets him ride. This is why the album is so enjoyable because Antwon has the ability to create unexpected moments and doesn’t falter on them. Listen to “Cold Sweat,” the brooding and dark laments of love and what immediately follows is the fun and playful “Diamonds and Pearls” that almost makes you want to dance.
With each listen, none of this feels overwhelming or loses value. With each new emotion Antwon shares comes a surprise and following his range creates the sense that you are listening to the private recordings of a complex person. Overall, the mixtape portrays an already interesting rapper at his most accessible and enjoyable. Along with his abilities to make songs that fit well into windy summer afternoons and cool autumnal nights, Antwon’s 80’s and 90’s influenced music videos (“Living Every Dream”) conjure a weird nostalgia and adds to the excitement of his music.
End of Earth
is a hidden gem. Go and listen.