#certifiedFRESH: Antman Wonder Talks w/ DJ Aaron Omar About Music & Saturday Morning Cartoons

Interview by DJ Aaron Omar

Firstly, I’d like to tell you how much I enjoyed Memories Of The Fewture. It has such a superhero-vibe from top to bottom. Obviously you were a comic book and Saturday morning cartoons kid. What were you into? 

Yeah, I collected comic books as a kid; I have no idea what happened to my collection. My first career choice as a kid was to actually be a cartoonist. I used to draw Wolverine, Spiderman and Black Bart Simpson and sell them to my classmates for 50 cents a pop. Then Saturday morning was always euphoric. I used to catch everything from Gummy Bears to Megaman to Legend of Zelda to Spiderman; X-Men, Batman. Kid and Play and MC Hammer had cartoons...Pee-Wee's Playhouse. I was also born on a Saturday morning so it all ties in. I think Saturday is just a weekly holiday. 

Euphoric is the perfect word to describe Saturday mornings. I used to eat Oreo’O’s from the box and park in front of the TV...cartoons and pro-wrestling. MOTF was originally slated to be released in 2012, not long after you won the Philly iStandard showcase. Is this the same product that was finished then or did you go back and add more between then and now? 

Memories Of The Fewture was started late 2011. I think it was originally titled The June 5th Project, which is my birthday. It started out as my sendoff where I was just gonna create whatever was in my imagination and then completely leave music alone. Everything sort of snowballed after that and I just kept taking music off and putting music on...there's like a whole other album of music just from the stuff I didn't use for MOTF.

Generally, how much time do you spend on a piece? 

On average it takes me a business day to compose a piece, then maybe half a day to arrange it. If I really like it, it'll take me a week.

You say that was supposed to be your send-off. Were you going to stop music to focus on the cartoonist career or were you just tired of music at the time? 

I actually gave up my dream of being a cartoonist in middle school and started writing rhymes. It's funny because I have a cartoon idea I'm working on now. I did plan on giving up music because of the infamous nature of the business. It still exists for me but on my terms. It's still rough, but I've created some great opportunities through putting art first and business second.

You often make it a point to tell the producer community to make an effort to stand out. How long did it take you to actually get the importance of not following whatever the current popular sound is or was that ever an issue for you? 

Being a conformist was more of an issue for me when I was learning the basics of production. I used to just emulate Pharrell. I learned from just listening to music and then my own personality just eventually took over. In between that time though, I did have a lot of people in my ear telling me to just 'follow the crowd until you make a name and then branch off'. I didn't want to make a name off of following anybody, so I think around 2004-2005 is when I really started developing my sound and practiced techniques of composing with sonic manipulation.

I think every producer that I know personally went through a Pharrell/Neptunes-emulation phase. That sound was simple but ahead of it’s time. With projects like An Ode To Reasonable Doubt with Skyzoo and the “Punk Ass Tray” track that you recently released where you replayed BB King’s “Chains and Things”, you pay tribute to artists that inspired you. Do you have any other tribute projects or tracks in the works? 

Not in the immediate future. I've always had this idea of putting together this one super-track where I just created emulations of all my favorite producers signature sounds and then morphing them into each other, then I would just let people guess who's who. But my tributes for now will just be collaborating with the same folks that I happen to be a fan of.

Antman Wonder w/ Joey Bada$$
In addition to his newest project Memories of the Fewture as well as his work on B4 Da $$ by Joey Bada$$, Mr. Wonderful by Action Bronson, and Pilot Talk 3 by Curren$y so far this year, Antman Wonder also worked on Ea$y Money's upcoming project The M.O.N.E.Y. set to be released May 26th. Follow him on Twitter HERE and Instagram HERE.
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