Secret Circle were an underground rap supergroup that featured San Jose’s Antwon, New York’s Wiki, and Richmond’s Lil Ugly Mane. We’ve covered all three rappers individually, and we posted the Secret Circle song “Satellite” last year. The trio had plans to release an album and tour this year. That won’t happen now, and the reason seems to revolve around allegations made against Antwon, which he alluded to in a lengthy statement. The two other members of the group have responded to that statement via social media.
In an Instagram post this past Friday, as Pitchfork points out, Lil Ugly Mane announced that the group was breaking up, though he left the reasons somewhat cryptic: “Secret Circle is a wrap. The shows are cancelled. The album will never come out. The songs we made don’t mean shit anymore… Im glad its all gonna be out in the open. I would never want to be a part of anything that hurt anyone or be aligned or associated with this fucking bullshit.”
Later on Friday, Antwon posted a long personal statement on his Twitter, writing, “I’ve taken advantage of people and situations to hide from the real me and used my platform for selfish reasons… I became addicted to the fame to the point now where the real reason I ran away from the allegations in the first place is because I was afraid people wouldn’t like me anymore and my career would be over… I let myself treat women poorly and my ego made me justify it.”
“I have to be honest. I haven’t loved myself in a long time and I haven’t felt comfortable with being me in so long. I don’t know how to be alone and not be antwon and be antonio the actual person I am. I’ve taken advantage of people and situations to hide from the real me and used my platform for selfish reasons. I’ve shut myself off- I’ve shut off my conscious and my well being for so long that it hurts me to my core to deal with my actions because I thought I was special which isn’t even real. I’m scared to even face the real me and make the changes that I need towards loving myself, but I have to use that fear to make this change. I’ve manipulated people into thinking I’m something that I’m not and carried on without dealing with the consequences in my life and that isn’t fair to me or anyone who has to deal with me.
I’ve run away from my problems and blamed them on other people but all along I didn’t know the problem was me and my behavior. I thought I never had the skills to deal with matters I’ve been dealing with, but now I know being honest with myself and others is the only thing that will set me free. I grew up being abused mentally and physically and never knew what it meant to love myself. When I made fantasy beds it was the first time in my life I got any kind of recognition from my peers, to the point I felt jealously from people I grew up with and I became addicted to it. I became addicted to fame to the point now where the main reason why I ran away from these allegations in the first place is because I was afraid people wouldn’t like me anymore and my career would be over… truly i am a delusional mess if that’s really my first thought. I needed validation from people I didn’t even know on a personal level and sought it out instead of loving the people who are right in my face helping me and loving me everyday. I’ve used people to try and make me feel better and caused harm to people. Giving women attention and not understanding I was playing with their emotions and feelings. Its just made me feel worse off and more empty then I was before. I have no one to blame but myself- I let myself treat women poorly and my ego made me justify it.
My head was so far up my ass but I was looking on the outside of myself.
I have never looked at myself and asked what I wanted, what my dreams were, who was I becoming? Instead I let other people run my life. I never engaged with problems in my life until now. I shut myself off and couldn’t give myself fully to anything because I didn’t have a sense of who I was… . In my music career I’ve tried to shed light on my shortcomings and wrote about them so that I could free myself but my words became my prison. I became the person who I deep down despised. I forgot that the only one who truly free me is ME. I tried to blame other people for things in my life instead of blaming myself for a long time, but I was the one who was at fault and I never had the courage to admit it because I thought in my head I was this person everyone loved, but thats fake and I need to love myself for real now.
I lied to people who loved me, talked my way out of things and I’m sick of it. Im sick of depending on others to love me so that I can lie to myself and act like I do that same. I’ve done things in my life that I am ashamed of and its gotten me to the point of me seeing my bottom and going into drug and alcohol recovery and I know it was the right thing because its given me new tools to deal with my situation and helped me to start changing myself so I can be more honest with myself and others. So I can get rid of my old ways of manipulating people and situations. I’ll be the first person to tell you I’m a master at running away and hiding my emotions but I can no longer be that it only hurts me in the long run. Recovery has opened me up in the last couple days especially because I am desperate to change my behaviors because if I don’t it can only lead to death, jails and institutions. I can now lead with my heart not my ego and I will continue to take the steps needed to change for the better. I know saying all of this won’t change anybody’s mind about me, so I ‘d rather lead with love in my heart and do what’s right- be honest and real.”
The next day, both Wiki and Lil Ugly Mane commented on Antwon’s statement. Wiki wrote that he and Lil Ugly Mane are “hurt” and continued, “But that doesn’t even register on the scale of hurt that the victim(s) must be feeling. My heart goes out to anyone who’s been abused or violated in anyway.”
Ugly and I are hurt, yes. We poured 2 years into that project. But that doesn’t even register on the scale of hurt that the victim(s) must be feeling. My heart goes out to anyone who’s been abused or violated in anyway. Our generation needs to stop this sick deeply routed problem
— patrick WIKI morales (@wikset) May 19, 2018
Lil Ugly Mane, meanwhile, directly called out Antwon with a long Instagram statement that includes the phrase “zero fucking consent.” Here’s what he wrote:
Yesterday I made a very vague statement. I was under the impression that Antwon was going to be accountable for his actions and so I wanted to give him the opportunity to own his own bullshit and stand on his own two feet. I made a mistake. I can’t sit here and act like Im even remotely okay with that trash fucking “statement/apology” he made. This isnt about you homie. This is all about the people you’ve hurt. These aren’t “allegations” and “accusations”. this is shit you did. Im sick of this language. We aren’t talking about late night miscommunications or buyers regret, we’re talking about zero fucking consent. It’s not my story to tell so i won’t go into detail but I think it’s absolutely disgusting that given all the opportunities you’ve been given to apologize and attempt to move forward you chose to make your “apology” all about you. Boo hoo homie. You’ve fucked over a lot of people with this shit, and at the very very very bottom of that list is me AND WIKI. You denied and denied and stupidly we rode with you because we cared about you and trusted you. We worked on a record for two years that will NEVER come out. I fucking moved to LA to do it. Now what? If you don’t wanna take responsibility i will. I’m sorry for what this man has done. I’m so fucking sorry that i was complicit in trying to protect him and giving him the benefit of the doubt for as long as i did. If you know that there is a storm coming to town at least give your friends and family the option of evacuating. Don’t flood my house with your shitty ass lies. I tried for so long to understand what was happening and could only ever find a few vague tweets. Im not someone who needs “physical evidence” or “both sides” to believe anyone but i didn’t have anything besides vague anonymous tweets and a friend adamantly denying it and at the time that wasn’t enough to write someone off. I feel differently now. I feel stupid. I wish I could trade the trust i put in antwon into everyone who attempted to warn someone about him and im sorry for how long it took me to hear you. I believe people can change, i know i grow everyday. I hope antwon will understand that ultimately what i want from this is for him to grow too. Your apology was bullshit homie. It ain’t cutting it. You got a lot of people that love you and have done so much for you that you’ve turned into fool and also a lot of people you’ve hurt and your sad shit rambling unapologetic statement just said fuck you to all of them. I hope you see me and i hope you make it right with these women. im embarrassed and Im sorry.
Stereogum has reached out to Antwon’s PR for further comment.