Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009

Rapper Haz Solo Comes into His Own

By Evan Rytlewski
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To say Haz Solo is ambitious is an understatement. Last year, the Milwaukee rapper and producer unveiled his plans to release a whooping 16 albums/mixtapes of material, and though it seems he'll fall short of that insane goal, he's nonetheless made impressive progress. HAZ SOLO>, his latest release, available for free download on his Myspace page, is the best I've heard from him yet.

With less filler than usual, Haz keeps the pace swift and the mood light, smiling through 15 or 16 tracks of blunted soul and ramshackle tangents. And where his own beats have established him as a worthy graduate of the Madlib school of production, it's Haz's raps that shine this time around-geeky and amiable, with newfound fire, Haz Solo's witty flow is beginning to resemble a spunkier, more youthful version of Murs'. Even when Haz simply adds a quick verse to an otherwise unaltered version of the Black Kids' "Hurricane Jane"—a move that's lazy even by the non-standards of mixtapes—that lone verse is so hungry, so on-topic that he makes it work.

Watch this guy. With judicious editing and a little more time, he could be capable of releasing the best rap album Milwaukee has heard in years.

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