Artist: Hangar 18Title: The Multi-Platinum Debut AlbumRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: N. Context
Introducing the infamous Hangar 18. No, you won’t find any UFO’s, government conspiracies or any other “X-Files” type themes. The Hangar, as they are commonly known by many of their fans, is an underground Hip-Hop group hailing from NYC. Consisting of Windnbreez, Alaska and DJ paWL, the trio has performed/toured with Camp Lo, Company Flow, Mos Def, Talib Kweli and many others in the meanwhile their style has been labeled as one of the most original in years. Naming their first album The Multi Platinum Debut Album because “we thought it would be funny” and “mostly to trick the industry into thinking we are multi platinum” is a simplistic but ingenious marketing ploy, but I’m weary that it will actually bring them mainstream success.
“Where We At” is a good opening track introducing the listener to the rapid fire, verbose deliveries of Wind and Alaska. paWL provides an energetic up-tempo beat, underlining it with a steady alarm ring and electric guitar cords, which quickly get your head nodding. In similar fashion, Wind and Alaska jump all over “Saved By The Breezy” trading the mic like a couple of WWE tag team wrestlers as if amped by what sounds like a cowbell over the funky drum track. The best two songs are “Boombox Apocalypse” and “Take No Chances.” The eerie echo effect in “Boombox Apocalypse set off the smooth baseline while the repetitive vocal sample in “Take No Chances” (“you, gotta…) pulls you into the song compelling you to listen to their story. Both songs are slower paced than the rest of the album allowing Wind and Alaska to display a more introspective rhyme style which they handle and manhandle well.
The problems I have with The Hangar is that 1, their sound is too electronic; too reminiscent of techno. The tracks tend to blend together because of their likeness in sound. And 2, They are unnecessarily wordy. It is acoustically pleasing to the ear but once you sit down and try to decipher what they are saying they end up leaving you saying “WTF are you talking about?” “Did you really need to put 20 words on one line to prove you can flow?”