Is there any more sobering experience than a brush with death? Just ask Hanz On, the Wu-affiliated Staten Island rapper who premieres his final album, Barca, today on MASS APPEAL. When asked about the potential awkwardness of music that depicts what it’s like to recover from being shot multiple times being used as entertainment, Hanz replied: “It’s a blessing, because it was a time when just staying alive was a task in itself.”
If you think that sounds like someone who’s grounded as fuck, you’d be correct in your estimation. With staunch personal and professional support from Wu-Tang members, including Method Man and Raekwon, Hanz On was able to steady his personal outlook and his career, etching out a reputation as one of New York’s more under-rated talents. “My relationship with the members of the Clan was a major point in my turnaround,” Hanz On says. “Some more than others came out and supported what I was doing once I started doing something positive.. Rae, Dek, Master Killa—they all were very supportive in my transition. When I decided to create my own company in part it was because Meth kind of gave me a different perspective on things. His whole camp (Streetlife, Seven, Nut and Ellis) kind of walked me through it throughout this whole process.”
Barca, he explains, is a full-circle moment. His discography, which is tied to the legend of Hannibal the Great—the title of Hanz’s first album—culminates with this release, titled after Hannibal’s last name. “In short, he accomplished things that would ordinarily be looked at as impossible,” the artist explains. “The homie’s drive was incredible. I’m a big fan.” On tracks like “Big Sky,” featuring Method Man, or “Champion,” you can hear these affirmations shining through. Hanz set out to tell a definitive story with his collection—after a couple listens it’s clear that his discography was always supposed to have a beginning and a definitive end—and on Barca, the lessons he’s learned manifest themselves seamlessly.
You can also it on iTunes/Apple Music, where it’ll be available to stream at midnight.
[via MASS APPEAL]