Warriors are often bound to live of life of perpetual battle, but for Staten Island’s Hanz On, that mentality was quickly left behind after making the switch from the front lines of the streets to the stage. The rapper delivers swift bars among his crew of soldiers in the video for “Big Sky” featuring Method Man.
Directed by The Last American B-Boy, Hanz and Method Man enjoy a dinner made for royalty with their crew. As they exchange bars on their gritty but enlightening pasts, Hanz lets it be known he’s ready to take over the game. After living a life kids in suburbia only dream of, Hanz decided to leave hustling alone when he met Raekwon in 2007. He then became close with Meth and the rest of the Wu-Tang family and performed with Rae for the Rock The Bells Tour. The opportunity opened his eyes to business endeavors and the chance to reflect on his life on wax.
“Crack basically decimated my whole household. That’s where I came up, that’s my ghetto. I wasn’t driving cars and eating caviar – in my hood it was life or death,” he tells VIBE via email. “I’ve been hit 13 times and did several bids. People that know me know I had a hard life and sh*t; if I didn’t have that life, most of the shit that I wrote wouldn’t have been written.”
His name also fits his appreciation for militant souls. Hanz On or “Hannibal The Great” got his moniker from Hannibal Barca, one of the greatest military strategists in history. Hanz has released music under Raekwon’s Ice Water imprint, but has now decided to lead his own label—Hanz On Music Entertainment (H.O.M.E.) – which will release Method Man’s Meth Lab 2: The Lithium this summer.
“I came home and they gave me a couple slots on the album, which was one of the highlights of my career,” he said about his early days. “But a person grows after a while. A boy turns into a man and a man moves out the house and goes to find his own place. I had to get my own label, Rae basically gave me the fishing pole and Mef basically taught me how to fish.”
His album, Barca, is his last before housing other artists on H.O.M.E. Featured guests on the project include Ghostface Killah, Mistah F.A.B., Inspectah Deck and Smoove Q.
Enjoy “Big Sky” above.