Hailing from Lake Hiawatha, a small New Jersey lakeside community, is HANZ, a praiseworthy rapper who is making his mark in the industry in more ways than one. On Friday, June 12th, the underground music world was introduced to his debut project, Praylude, a mixtape that serves as a literal prelude to his forthcoming project, Vagabond.
Praylude showcases the 27-year-old’s intelligent rhyme schemes and artistic intelligence, evident in all 8 songs and two features. The singles, “Back On” and “Tittney,” were released prior to the album and started getting some traction by landing on notable Spotify playlists like, “Fresh Finds,” and even garnered over 30,000 combined streams. Born in Newark, N.J. to parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Haiti, HANZ’s songs tell remarkable stories about past events in his life. But he also delivers an interesting narrative on the industry and its exploitative practices, as found in the intro track “Prime,” in which he raps:
“No more free we need payment, / This is more than entertainment / How we signing deals moving like a free agent / They gon’ think this s*** is freemason.”
While Praylude is impressive from a musical standpoint alone, there’s an even more worthy reason to download it: HANZ announced that all profits from the album on Bandcamp will go to a charitable organization called Jannah on Grafton, an initiative dedicated to ending the food disparity gap in North Newark, an area that has been particularly hard hit by Covid-19.
Such philanthropy alongside the rapper’s music talent gives us every reason to celebrate his emergence. Looking ahead, he appears to be on track to delight his audience with upcoming songs and a thoroughly planned release schedule. With the BLDY RXSE collective behind him, HANZ is surrounded by a creative environment of videographers, directors, producers, and writers that help ensure everything that they put out is of the highest caliber and all operations run seamlessly.
Undoubtedly, 2020 will be HANZ’s year to shine, and even though this may be your first time hearing the name, it most certainly won’t be your last.