Music

10 Reasons Antman Wonder Is Hip Hop’s Unsung Superhero

Joey Badass Antman Wonder

Moviegoers and comic book fiends are going ga-ga for the trailer to Ant-Man, the latest superhero flick from Marvel and Disney. While we did find Paul Rudd’s flexing of his miniature might impressive, it just made us think of a hero in our own universe that goes by the same name, Antman Wonder.

The Philly-based producer and composer named Anthony Markeith has been saving hip-hop one beat at time since 2008 re-creating original samples and being sampled himself. He remade Jay Z’s Reasonable Doubt with Skyzoo in 2013 and most recently he has been featured on Action Bronson and Joey Bada$$’s albums, co-producing “Curry Chicken” and “When I Rise” to name a few.

“I started making music in my teens. When I would hear music I would assume that the producer played the stuff from scratch,” he told me for my production site Nodfactor.com last year. “So when I was young I got a Casio keyboard and I would try to mimic the beats. Then somebody taught me how to sample and I thought ‘Wow, I was really slow as a kid.’ But it taught me how to put together a melody, paying attention not just to the beats, but the composition behind them. That made me want to create music because I would hear things that weren’t there. Once I learned how to sample I learned that I could just play out the entire melody the way I want and then resample it as if I were hearing it as a sample. In my mind things play out as a sample.”

So now sampling producers like Jahlil Beats and The Justice League have been incorporating Antman’s compositions into their work to great effect. It’s essentially what DJ Premier did with Adrian Younge’s work for PRhyme but with multiple producers across different projects. But don’t just take our word for it, listen for yourself with some annotations from Antman himself.

10. Barrell Brothers, “The Aura”

This co-production with DJ Premier is featured on Skyzoo and Torae’s Barrell Brothers album. The composed source material was inspired by Premier’s production on Jay Z’s “Bring It On.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOm-8ZdIz6I

9. Add-2 “Luxury”

One of his last productions before swearing off sampling, Wonder teamed up with the chicago MC for an MTV-U competition. “Luxury” is one of tracks that caught he ear of Jamla’s 9th Wonder, who would later sign him.

 

8. “Saturday’s Best”

This cut from Antman’s debut instrumental album The Present was eventually sampled by !llmind for Skyzoo and Torae’s “Blue Yankee Fitted” and Curren$y’s “Lemonade Mimosas.”

7. “Punk Ass Tray” (instrumental)

“I was watching Boyz N the Hood and challenged myself to see if I could replay this beat before Ricky got killed.”

 6. Joey Bada$$, “Curry Chicken”

“Statik (Selektah) hit me randomly like ‘I need you to do this Joey (Bada$$) Record and we have like 17 hours’ or some crazy specific time. Turns out it was like a very important song dedicated to his moms and if that sample didn’t get cleared the album wasn’t coming out on his birthday. So I Jack Bauer’d a re-imagining and voila Wallace… We made ‘Curry Chicken.'”

5. Action Bronson, “When I Rise”

“This was one of the few Bronson records I’ve worked on… There was another one with Statik and another one with Alchemist. The one with Statik didn’t make the album, but it had Ab-Soul on it and dude from Panic at the disco… Real dope record. I cleared the record, then I was told they were just gonna go with the original, and then I thought I didn’t make the album, then like right before the album came out I was told I was on it.”

 

4. Curren$y, “Lemonade Mimosas”

“Jahlil beats hit me up after hearing AOTRD, then we just made a bunch of shit together. He ended up sampling the intro to ‘The Present’ which !ll mind also sampled but 2 totally different parts that sound nothing alike. That melody is apart of my Saturday morning movement (which is ironic because Curren$y dropped Pilot Talk 3 on a Saturday). That melody is on every album I’ve made in different formats. There’s an orchestrated version, a Jazz version, an electronic version and a progressive rock version.”

 

3. Estelle, “Silly Girls”

“I’ve been working with Justice League for the last few years. Rook just randomly sends me stuff to work on whilst insulting me about not being good enough but also calling me genius. It’s why we get along. I worked on this record way longer than I should have. A bunch of revisions, tons of shit talk. But it all worked out. Estelle most likely doesn’t even know who I am. Good times.”

2. Barrell Brothers, “Memorobillia”

“I was sitting with Skyzoo at some hipster soup and wooden chairs spot in Brooklyn and he was telling me about this Barrel Brothers project. He said he wanted real simple, gritty hip-hop stuff and I immediately knew I wasn’t gonna make that project. I just nodded and drank whatever kind of hipster Tea they sold me. I was randomly listening to my (unreleased) album Memories of the Fewture and ended up chopping up one of my melodies and got an easy A out of it.”

1. Saturday Morning Wonders

Antman Wonder’s Century Gun will be out June 5th and you can peep the first sample here.

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