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"Hemingway native rapper Hanibal releases masterful street CD"

Hemingway native and rapper Hanibal’s first solo CD, “Failure is Not an Option,” could be the soundtrack to the sequel to the Academy Award-nominated film, “Hustle & Flow,” if one is ever made.

“Hustle & Flow” chronicled the struggles a poor pimp from Memphis, Tenn., expertly portrayed by actor Terrence Howard, went through to get his demo tape in the hands of a fellow rapper from Memphis, Tenn., played by Ludacris, who had gone on to platinum success. Memphis-based trio Three 6 Mafia provided the soundtrack to the film. The songs reeked of passion and desperation. Howard’s character rapped as if his life depended on it, and it did. There was a hunger that emanated from the tunes on that soundtrack, and Three 6 Mafia was rewarded as only the second hip-hop act to win an Academy Award (with the other being Eminem for his work on the “8 Mile” soundtrack).

Hanibal grew up in Hemingway but moved to Memphis as a teenager. Listening to Hanibal’s “Failure is Not an Option” (to be released Tuesday), the listener thinks failure isn’t an option for Hanibal. The freshness that was evident in Three 6 Mafia’s music has been transposed to Hanibal’s CD.

Hanibal’s music is slow and deliberate. One can dance to it, but there’s an ominous tone to it, too. The street pulses through every lyric, every beat. Hanibal’s vocal delivery is speedy, but it’s clear and concise. He understands the importance of a vocal hook.

The CD begins with a shout out to his childhood home titled “Hemingway.” Hanibal works in most North and South Carolina hot spots. (Even Florence gets a mention.) Songs such as this are gimmicky, but Hanibal does manage to paint a lyrical portrait of what it’s like riding up the Atlantic coast, what it’s like for a young hustling black man trying to find a good time. This is like an edgier version of Ludacris’ “Area Codes.”

Hanibal paints a different scenario on “Scared.” Most rappers puff out their chests with faux bravado when rapping about the violence they’ve seen on the streets. They want their listeners to think they’re so hardened that the violence doesn’t faze them. Hanibal raps about violence playing a prominent role in his neighborhood and that it’s OK to be scared that today might be your last. He’s trying to make it off the streets to escape being shot and killed. Unfortunately, rappers these days don’t leave those street roots behind once they make it big, and shootings continue to plague them once they become platinum-selling, multi-millionaire artists.

On “F*** Da Fame,” Hanibal details why he’s taken up the mic. He has no interest in being famous. He just wants enough money to be able to escape the struggles he’s had to endure in his lifetime. That’s a message to which most everyone can relate. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you’ll understand Hanibal’s plight. Sure, money doesn’t solve all problems, but it does manage to make things not seem so bad.

“Ever since I was young, I only dreamed of two things: I wanted to become a professional basketball player or the baddest MC on the planet, or both,” Hanibal said in his press biography. “I must have been about 12 or 13 when I first heard ‘I’m Bad’ by LL Cool J. And, after I heard that, it was a wrap. I was hooked on hip-hop. Back then it was LL Cool J, Eric B & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and N.W.A.”

Hanibal’s rap style would expand to include influences by such artists as Tupac Shakur, Notorious B.I.G., Nas and OutKast. His time spent in Memphis, undoubtedly, allowed the Southern “crunk” rap style to creep in, too. Crunk has a party, “feel good” vibe. There are elements of that in Hanibal’s music, but a desperate street passion overrides the tendency to rap about strippers gyrating for money or dancing in the club. Hanibal breaks out a few dirty, sweaty, sex joints, but they have more of an old-school R&B feel to them rather than your common hip-hop radio single about a stripper’s cheap thrills.

If you’re a fan of “Hustle & Flow” and the soundtrack, you’d be well-advised to pick this up. The CD should be distributed to music stores in the Carolinas, Georgia and Tennessee. Visit the Web site, www.pimpoetryent.com, to purchase the CD if it’s not available in stores.

- Justin Bailey- Entertainment Editor Florence Morning News


Hanibal: Failure Is Not An Option
Cd available online at pimpoetryent.com, Cdbaby.com and also availabe at digital outlets (I.E. Appletunes, Rhapsody etc. )



Adding his own flavor the saucy pot of hip-hop is the South Carolina born Hanibal. After years of grinding to maintain his rap credibility, Hanibal is now on an underground mission to bring himself to the forefront of the game. “Every since I was young I only dreamed of two things, I wanted to become a Professional Basketball player or the baddest MC on the mic or both” he explains. Hanibal was influenced by a wide range of East, West, and South coast rap pioneers. “I must have been about 12 or 13 when I first heard “I’m Bad” by LL Cool J and after I heard that it was a wrap, I was hooked on hip hop, back then it was LL Cool J, Eric B & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane and N.W.A.” Hanibal says that as he got older he was influenced by Tupac, Biggie, Nas, Outkast, Eightball & MJG ECT. Living in Memphis, TN since he was a teenager, and still resides, and represents the city of Memphis, he has never forgotten where he came from. Hemingway SC, a small town about 50 miles inlet from the coast is where his roots were planted and is also the title of the first song on his new CD. “People ask me all the time how did I have such big dreams coming from a small town but that’s just me, I always thought big”. A few years ago Hanibal released a CD with the group The Infamous Untuchables. “That album drained us because we was grinding so hard and wasn’t prospering like we thought we should have been, I love that album but it took a lot out of me.” All 18 tracks on that album were produced, composed, arranged, recorded and mixed by Hanibal. Somehow he and his comrade Jaeski found a way to do it all along with full time daytime jobs, talk about a hustle. Now on his solo release “Failure Is Not An Option”, again solely produced by himself, he hopes to start burning a hole from the underground to greatness