Haz Solo
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Haz Solo

Band Hip Hop R&B


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"Rapper Comes Into His Own"


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. - Evan Rytlewski



I “met” @HAZxTHEWORLD on Twitter forever ago, and before you know it he had snail mailed me several actual CD’s of his music. *Impressive* Aside from “Nice to Meet Me” having the album name of the effing century, this is one of those rare albums that I listen to from start to finish every single time. The best part about the album (aside from the classic production), is that it’s entertaining! Who said hip hop had to be so serious all the time?! Haz flips between the class clown and the ill emcee with ease, but if you’re looking for metaphors and the metaphysical or guns and rims…this isn’t the album for you. This album does not apologize for having a good time.
There’s so much bad music out right now, and we all wag the dog from time to time, feeding the hype (albeit good or bad) and others making great music often get lost in the shuffle of the drama. Haz released this album back in the earlier part of 2008, but with the current condition of hip hop I figured it’d be a good idea to revisit a fantastic album that I personally listen to on a very regular basis.
If you’re interested in plain ole good hip hop that is hysterically dope and STILL BANGS well over a year after it’s release…proceed to the free download! - Guerilliamilk




Haven't heard of Haz Solo? Better known to his family and co-workers as Frantz Jenkins, this 24-year-old rapper and producer could very well be on his way to being a household name. Here are 10 things MKE unearthed so you can say you heard of him way back when.

1 No Star Wars geek He started using the moniker Haz Solo in 2000, when he was a 16-year-old fledgling rapper and producer. It came from Hazardous, the name he wanted to use until he found out another group was already using it. A friend then wrote a song called "Uprise the Empire." In it, Solo said, "The empire strikes back so call me Haz Solo." He explained: "I just stuck with it."

2Can't pigeonhole his music Solo grew up listening to rappers such as Big Daddy Kane and Positive K. Their influences can be heard on Solo's work, but he always liked to hear new ideas and voices instead of having just one major influence.

As such, Solo's songs fuse pop, rock, jazz and soul with funky beats, and they don't fit the traditional rap subgenres, such as gangsta, club or hardcore.

"I just do what I do. There are people out there that like that kind of music (gangsta rap), and people who like my kind of music. I try to appeal to both, but I'm still me," Solo said. "I try to balance my work. It's not too complex, but it's good enough. . . . I just write and whatever the beat tells me, I do."

3Tools of his trade Solo took piano lessons as a child but writes most of his music with the help of music software, an iMac and a keyboard. "I pretty much learned everything on my own."

His basement studio, however, is decked out. There's a framed photo of Dizzy Gillespie, various horn instruments, guitars and a drum kit. Solo's father is a musician and plays all these instruments. (Solo: "He's not famous, but he could be.")

4New to the stage Solo began rapping and producing eight years ago but only started performing live last May. He's played more than 40 shows since. "What I was doing back then, I was just doing it for fun. I'm still doing it for fun, but it's starting to pay off now."

5The Superfriends without capes Solo is part of a local super group called House of M. Members include 12 other local hip-hop artists, such as A.P.R.I.M.E., Gambit, Ecks, Dana Coppa, Young Focus, DJ Deadbeat, Trellmatic, D. Matikk, Dylan Thomas ("I love working with that guy, we have great chemistry"), Sdot and Lou Tang. There are seven emcees and one DJ. Plus, nine of the members also produce.

"We just chill and have fun," Solo said.

A subset of that group, called Beyond The Norm, consists of Solo, A.P.R.I.M.E. and Gambit. They perform regularly as well. Solo also has a good relationship with another member of the rap community: his "big cousin" and Black Elephant member Dameon Ellzey, who has taught Solo a lot about the industry.

"Milwaukee's hip-hop scene is growing - for the better," Solo said.

6Livin' on the straight-edge Solo doesn't drink, smoke or do drugs. He has no tattoos or piercings. His only vice? Shoes. He has about 60 sneakers - limited editions, collector's items - in his collection . . . and wants more.

7Collaborate and listen Locally, Solo would love to work with producer J. Todd, but he collaborates with many artists who aren't from Milwaukee thanks to the Internet. Networking on MySpace was key, he said, and it's all he does when he's not at work or playing a show.

As a result, he's produced tracks for a U.K. emcee named Khem and gritty-pop artist Jimi James from Los Angeles. Last month, Solo was in Hollywood performing shows with James for Nu Soul magazine.

For Solo, talent is important in picking collaborators. But not as important as being nice.

" 'Cause I can't work with an a--hole. But as long as the chemistry is there, I'm good."

8Rhyme ambition Solo's goal for 2008 is to drop 16 albums this year. Two are finished: "Hazzy New Year" was released in January, and "She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not" on Valentine's Day. He also plans to release a remix CD, a few instrumental CDs, a Beyond the Norm CD, and a CD for his 25th birthday on June 14.

"Hopefully I can get to 16. . . . I get sidetracked - by work!" he said, laughing. (He works about eight to 12 hours a day as a mail sorter for the U.S. Postal Service.)

On his birthday, he's having a roast at Stonefly, where other artists will perform his songs.

"It will be a panel of jokesters bagging on me," Solo said.

9Perspiration is the inspiration Solo gets the creative juices flowing through "uh . . . work," he said, laughing. That's what inspires him. "Going to work, and just going out and kicking it with my friends. Going to more shows gives me inspiration. I write about anything."

10Spread the music Bring hip-hop to the masses is Solo's rallying call. "I want to hold a hip-hop event in a park, if the city will let me," he said. "I'm pretty sure it will be a headache trying to get a park, but I'm really doing it for the kids." And Solo wants half of the event's proceeds to go to the Boys & Girls Clubs.

Even though hip-hop's got a bad rap, he's hopeful. "As long as I get enough sponsors, they might let me do it."


Nice To Meet Me mixtape -JAN. 2007
Hazzy New Year -JAN. 2008
She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not -FEB. 2008
Short and Sweet- MAY 2008
HAZ SOLO> -NOV. 2008
June Bug (instrumentals) -June 2009



During that moment when the night slips away and the morning horizon can be heard from your…basement, one of Milwaukee’s most creative minds is putting in, yet another one of it’s, finest performances with neurons a firing.  Whether he is up blending the everyday with the absurd and transforming them into the seamless verses that his fans have come to quote, or he is hunch-backed, hovering over his equipment, tinkering with his latest wax-electronic-chopped-tempo twisting soundscape, Haz Solo, to use the words of the man himself, “works hard.”
Rather than waiting on the next man to put him on, Haz (born Frantz Calei Jenkins) has created a name for himself, in little over a year, by establishing a work ethic behind the pen and pads that has inspired many, veterans and rookies alike, to rededicate themselves to their craft. Possessing a knack for generating intrigue, Haz has managed to stay fresh despite performing in well over 100 shows since May of 2007. His ability to keep the listener entertained with an assortment of dance moves and theatrics, while they pay acute attention to the deliberate and witty way he has arranged his verses is masterful. Blessed with a poet’s tongue and an ear for producing “grade A. music,” the 25-year-old lyricist has proven that, once again, hip hop fans are ready to make room for originality, hard work and integrity.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Haz grew up in a dwelling that was abundant with fresh and innovative music. His father, Lawrence Jenkins, is a fire fighter that played the saxophone in a jazz ensemble known as Pharenheit, and a young Haz can remember his father embodying the essence of music in much of what he was doing at the time, whether it was the jittery jabs of a sax being played or the harmonious clinking of a weight set being used; his father was music. Haz would later interpret that figurative music that his father personified and chop it and re-arrange it in a way that kept the “feel” intact. That “feel” I write about would be of a hard-working man with a love for the music he creates.

Influenced by the musical genius of artists such as Madlib and J Dilla, Haz has perfected the art of experimentalism in both his production as well as his approach to making albums. His listeners would agree that his work gravitates more toward the sublime, rather than the ridiculous. His originality is without question, even though many have compared his dazzling lyricism with the likes of Nas, Andre 3000 and MF Doom.
In January of 2007, Haz’s mixtape, Nice To Meet Me, began to circulate throughout Milwaukee’s underground hip hop scene. This 26 track opus, with production from several producers from overseas, cemented Haz’s name amongst the best artists in the city and forced emcees, producers, dj’s, and promoters to take him seriously. The buzz gained from that album and his memorable performance at “The Do Over Show” set off a wave of Haz Solo appearances that summer as many artists in the city, inspired by his freewheeling nature, began to network with him and others; and a movement was reborn.

Since then, Haz has released three albums, and has been working diligently on several others. What we are currently looking at is the inauguration of Milwaukee’s finest musical export; a musician that is just getting started and by the end of this year should well be on his way to a new phase in his career, as many well-respected hip hop labels have started to take notice of his immense talents as a writer, producer, promoter, and performer.
In the infinite universe of hip hop, Haz Solo is the dark horse, an entertainer that one should never bet against. This is a man that didn’t even have the time to sit down with me and help me out with this poor piece of writing. Oh well, he’s probably recording his 3rd song of the evening as we speak.