All photos by William Coutts
Antwon, light of my life, fire of my groin. My sin, my soul, An-tw-ooon
Where was I? ANYWAY, a California native, Antwon was brought up on Bay Area thrashcore and used to go moshing at punk and hardcore parties. In 2009 he joined a band called Leather, but today he’s flying solo as a rapper and seems to be doing a pretty good job. At 3pm on Thursday, I walked into the Big Chill Bar in London (his people’s choice, notmine) and breathed in the familiar smell of beer mingled with disinfectant bleach. Antwon was sitting alone at a table with his jacket on and his hood pulled up...
Noisey: Hey Antwon, I’m sorry I didn’t bring you any flowers or chocolate, your PR guy said you weren’t really into that shit.
Antwon: Oh, that’s all right. I actually do like chocolate.
Awkward. Shall we get a candle over here? It would be nice to make it a bit more romantic.
Yeah, let’s get a candle. [There are no candles. More awkward.]
I don’t think I’ve even been on a date before.
Oh! So I’m taking your first date virginity? Don’t worry; I’ll be gentle.
So are you seeing anyone at the moment?
I think if I say anything I might get in trouble with all the other girls that I’m seeing.
Oh, I see. Well do they know about this, about us? Are they cool with it?
Yeah I think they’d be cool…
Cool, so this could actually go somewhere special. I mean obviously if you were already taken, I’d back off.
So tell me what was it like growing up in Sunnyvale? I bet you had lots of girlfriends there.
I didn’t actually.
What? But such a strapping young man like yourself, who could resist you?
I don’t know; I liked playing video games and hanging out with boys.
Nice. If things were to get real serious between us, would I have to impress all your guy friends and stuff?
No, we don’t even have to hang out with them.
Where do you wanna take me for our next date?
To Red Lobster.
I love lobster.
I don’t actually like lobster.
No me neither, I hate it, it’s disgusting.
I just want to take you somewhere very nice. Somewhere vulnerable.
I am vulnerable.
What Star Sign are you?
That’s sexy. I’m Libra.
Oh! That’s compatible.
Yeah, they’re both air signs… [I have no idea if this is true, and he definitely has no idea either]
Yeah, they are.
So I read somewhere that you used to go to heavy metal parties and like mosh around, do you think I’d like it there?
I don’t know, they don’t really know how to act around girls. But we could just stand up on stage together and be away from it all.
I’d really like that. So why did you call your band Leather? Do you wear a lot of leather? I wear a lot of leather.
At that time, yeah.
We were meant to be called Quest For Leather, my buddy Bradley was like, ‘’lets just name it Leather’’. That band broke up.
Have you been through a lot of break-ups?
Yeah. That’s why I don’t really date.
I won’t break your heart.
I hope not, that would suck.
I don’t wanna be that guy. What do you do to get over a break up?
You’ve been compared a lot to Biggie, how do you feel about that?
I think it’s stupid.
You’re much sexier than Biggie.
That’s true. Very true.
You’re living in San Jose at the moment, right? How do you feel about long distance relationships? You’re all the way over there and I’m over here…
I mean it could work.
I’d have to be the only bitch on the tour bus though.
That’s cool. That could work; I’m very nurturing.
I like to be nurtured. What’s the longest relationship you’ve ever been in?
I think four months. That was really cool. It was the most real.
Let’s talk about your track "In Ecstasy", who is that making sex noises at the beginning of the song. Do I need to be worried? Who is she? [Listen to it in all it's orgasmic glory here]
Ohhh, London Andrews. But don’t worry; she’s out of the picture.
Ok, phew. It’s weird, I kind of feel like that song was written for me, even though we hadn’t actually met yet.
I think it was.
Do you believe in fate?
I definitely believe in fate, and I’ve actually had sex with someone within an hour of meeting them.
Can we stop the interview?
Is it true you used to work at a men’s vintage store?
Yeah I did. But then they started using my image and, like, not paying me extra. I mean I would have done that if they’d paid me more. It got to the point where I couldn’t afford to even get home.
Those brutes! Why didn’t they pay you?
I don’t know, ‘cos they’re stupid.
Do you think I would have looked good in anything there?
I think you would, yeah.
Maybe like a boyfriend jacket?
You can have a million boyfriend jackets.
And now you’re working on your own collection?
Yeah, with my friend Andreas. But it’s hard ‘cos I live in San Jose and he’s in LA, and he’s just hanging out with his girlfriend all the time.
That’s okay, we can double date. Have you ever been on a double date before?
I think this one girl tried to take me on a double date and I just dumped her. I don’t deal well with strangers.
What about if it was you, me, Andreas, and his girlfriend?
Yeah that’d be chilled. But it wasn’t, it was with her weirdo friends.
Have you ever brought a girl home to meet your mama?
I did once when I was like 18 and my mom didn’t like her; we split up after that.
I bet. Does she want you to settle down anytime soon?
I don’t think she does, because if I settled down, I’d just stop working. I don’t really have time to settle down, I’m kind of afraid to. I don’t want to give myself to someone and then they change their mind. If I really like somebody I won’t change my mind, unless I lose trust. And that’s like a big thing for me; with a lot of girls I’ve dated recently, I thought I could trust them, but I lost trust real quickly. They’re all still like, "Oh I’m sorry!" but I just can’t. If it’s not serious and they’re dating someone else, that’s cool, but be honest. Don’t try and hide it.
What do you look for in a girl?
I like a girl with a pretty face and a great attitude. Someone who can hold a conversation.
So how long are you staying in London for?
Oh, so we only have one night together? What are your plans?
Hanging out with you.
Have you met any girls since you’ve been here?
No, you’re the only one for me.
That’s sweet. What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done for a girl?
I brought one of my girlfriend’s lunch as a surprise. But, I don’t think she really appreciated it as much as I thought she would.
That bitch! This is much more romantic, isn’t?
You and me, in the Big Chill; it’s my dream date. I guess I’m just gonna have to stop dating and we can get married.
I think there’s actually a church down the road. I’m not wearing white though…
Big Chill. Have you ever done the whole ‘"n a relationship" Facebook status thing?
Would you do it with me?
Sure. If we can really do that.
What did you do this Valentine’s Day?
I sent all the girls I’m dating a Snapchat of my face looking really cute and then drew hearts around it.
Have you ever sent a naughty Snapchat?
All the time.
Do you send the same picture to everyone or do you personalize them?
Have you ever sent something to the wrong girl?
I accidentally sent this girl Faith a picture of my dick; it was supposed to go to another girl called Faith.
Was it in profile or full frontal?
I like to do it from the side.
I bet you do.
Or very close up, so it’s like the whole phone. I think I’ve perfected the dick pic.
Do you hashtag it?
Haha no. That’d be crazy.
What would you do if someone put your dick pic on Twitter?
I don’t know, I’ve got a nice dick so…
No, but it was a really bad picture, in fact, it was someone else’s dick but tagged as you, and it was like a chipolata?
Damn. That would suck. That would be a real bummer.
Maybe you can write a song ‘’Yo that’s not my dick, this is my dick.’’
Haha maybe. And then the album cover would be a picture of my dick.
Who does your album art?
My friend Andreas did it. We did it real quick ‘cos I knew what I wanted.
Are you good at art?
Yeah, I do wash painting and take pictures, but I don’t have time for that shit.
What about film? Your video for "Helicopter" is super cool.
I really wanna do some film work after this album.
What’s the coolest show you’ve ever been to?
I saw Kid Rock play which was pretty cool.
Did you lift your top up and flash him like some girls do at gigs?
Haha. I probably should have done that.
What are you gonna do when you get back L.A?
I gotta do some new press photos.
What kinda vibe?
We normally use women, very tall ones.
I’m pretty tall. I have really bad posture though.
You could get a back brace.
Have you ever worn one?
What about for a sex injury?
One time I had sex with a girl, she was on top, and my groin area got really bruised. I tried to say something to her in the morning but she was like, "It’s not good if it doesn’t hurt."
It was pretty crazy; we were both on ecstasy.
Have you ever had pilly willy?
It’s when your wily doesn’t work because you’ve taken too many pills.
Oh yeah, definitely. When I have sex on molly it’s actually kind of bad ‘cos I’ll just wanna have sex like a lot, but it’ll be 6am and she’ll have to go to work.
A lot of people say that having sex on weed is the best.
I smoke a lot of weed so I can’t really remember the times when I have sex on it. But if you don’t smoke it that much then I guess it would be really intense. It’s like you can’t function but then you’re also having sex which is crazy.
We speak a bit more about sex. Then we hold hands and go outside to take some photos. We said our goodbyes, and promised each other we’d write. And now, as I sit listening to "In Ecstasy"— obviously pretending it’s me at the beginning of the song and not that other chick. I comfort myself with the thought that, although my baby’s a million miles away, we’ll always have that first date— Antwon’s first ever date—and no-one can take that away from me.
Read more First Dates:
A First Date with… Jhene Aiko
A First Date with Moko
A First Date with… Elle Eyre
A First Date with Sky Ferriera