"Avant-rap" is the genre tag many music journalists throw around when describing San Jose-based rapper Antwon's eclectic style. But he isn't ahead or behind anyone in the game: He's right in the center. 'Twon fuses decidedly retro stylings—he's as obsessed with '90s R&B as the rest of us—with eclectic references and inspirations, which include everything from Kid Rock to Danzig to thrashcore. "Weird but grounded" is a formula that's worked for many before him (think Kool Keith and Madlib), and Antwon follows it well. In two years of mixtapes, Antwon has covered subjects ranging from Third World honeys to thrift stores to The Omen, over production from underground New Jersey beatmaker Clams Casino and electronica artist Pictureplane. But he's not ready to jump on the throwback backpack-rap bandwagon quite yet. The money-liquor-hoes trifecta isn't central to his lyrics, but he isn't above tossing it into his rhymes either, especially on this year's In Dark Denim, where Antwon takes a slight turn toward gangsta posturing. For all his quirkiness, he's really just a gifted everydude—and what everydude wouldn't like his apartment littered with cash, Hennessy and women?
GO: Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 9:30 pm Tuesday, Oct. 8. $12 advance, $14 day of show. 21+.