The Prince of Edutainment and premiere jewel of independent artists Anthony Antoine is back at it again with his sophomore full length CD release Activist Freak: The Sex & Social Justice Mixtape (2009). Mr. Antoine describes his new project as “the perfect mix of two strong energies within me; activism and freak” with all songs unfolding a clear passion for hip-hop and provocative lyrics. “I never want to record the same CD twice,” Anthony explains.
The first single release off the new CD is the clever jam "Who's Rockin' Ur iPod" delivered to us by the "Who's Rockin' Ur iPod? EP." The new single/EP comes complete with three mixes of the single and a few revisits to a 2 songs regularly rotated on Anthony's iPod including Janet Jackson's "If" and the old school club classic "Break 4 Love" by Raze.
Anthony Antoine, whose multitude of influences include the songwriting talents of Babyface to the musicianship and courage of Me'Shelle Ndegeocello, continues to tackle a host of issues and boldly promote experiences often unaddressed in popular music. With over 15 years in the music/recording industry, Anthony has had time to develop an internal integrity that’s now reflected in his songs.
The first single from Activist Freak “Who’s Rockin’ Ur iPod,” Anthony explains as a song that “came through me. Honestly, the song was a gift from the Universe and came fully through, all lyrics, a few remixes with new lyrics and a powerful, clear message. Every iPod needs at least one Anthony Antoine song.” The original hip-hop, beat driven version of “Who’s Rockin’ Ur iPod,” features Anthony’s daughter Vogue Ashley who both share a love for iPods along with sharing four iPods between them. Anthony Antoine also shouts out the popular recording artists that most impact him as a person and artist – especially his peers in the independent music making game. “I have the fiercest iPod on the planet. I love my iPod. And I love my new single,” he smiles confidently. “I’m honored that this song came through me. It absolutely screams Apple sponsorship.”
This self-proclaimed child of the eighties and eighties music began his career after a gutsy move to London, England at the age of seventeen with a dream of to create a story for his life similar to Madonna’s move to New York. Immediately, his move placed in the heart of London’s music scene where Anthony became a top session vocalist and rapper, working with some of London’s best including Paul Hardcastle. Anthony’s first major grab for the brass ring was the Hardcastle produced Swing by the Deff Boyz featuring Tony Mac. Swing became an instant international dance club hit charting Top 40 on Billboards Dance Chart and breaking the Top 40 on numerous European music charts.
Anthony would record under several pseudonyms including Tony Mac and Truth Anthony over the next few years, becoming a recognizable artist on the European dance scene. During this period, Anthony released two more singles: the originally independent and Mony Arovo produced effort What’s Goin’ Down on ZYX Records and the jazz influenced Island Records released Under Your Spell with Ronny Jordan. In addition to having songs in heavy radio rotation, videos on MTV and a strenuous European tour schedule, Anthony was tapped as the opening act for C&C Music Factory during a leg of their European tour.
“Six years in London was like my college years. It was time for a new chapter in my life. I had lived out of my suitcase for literally six years and had toured much of Europe. I was exhausted.” Anthony moved back to America mostly to be closer to his family and to regroup. During this time, Anthony focused on raising his daughter (born in London) and obtained a degree in music and video production.
With a new outlook and the ongoing process of “coming out” was the muse for Anthony’s re-entry into the music business and the platform for his 4th CD. Similar to the spirit that energized James Brown, Aretha and so many voices that reflected 60s Black struggle, Anthony’s fourth release shouted an awakening awareness of individual and collective pride and empowerment. Dante’s Got a Man Too, released in 1999, became a gay club smash and Anthony’s most ambitious and rewarding project to date. The success, and more importantly the feedback that Anthony received from the single made it clear that he was onto something, that Anthony Antoine had found his true voice.
Dante’s Got a Man Too, Songs from My Closet, ASS and his first full length CD Closets on Fire are all a part of a musical growth for Anthony, a bold activist voice demanding a space in music history.
Anthony has taken that same theology of pride and empowerment from his music into other aspects of his calling; HIV/AIDS prevention and education. Anthony continues to leverage his passion for “keeping it real” in his work as a leader and local activist working for the AIDS Research Consortium of Atlanta. He has become a regular presence on radio, print media, college campuses and the local speaker circuit. But his vision and voice does not stop there, Anthony Antoine also completes the trio The Adodi Muse - a traveling poetry performance groups performing in-your-face edutainment that utilizes poetry, music and performance to entertain and facilitate social change.
Music! Spoken word! Activism! The Prince of Edutainment! That’s all Anthony Antoine! And that’s what’s up!!!