Every now and again, people of the world are hurt and long for a change. Many times they don’t even know it until the feeling hits them square in the chops, knocking them into next week. Enter Hangar 18, the greatest power trio since Rush. Hangar 18, or “The Hangar” as millions of fans have affectionately dubbed them, is made up of Alaska, Windnbreez, and paWL, and they are making some of the best hip-hop this side of New Guinea.
Rising out of the New York City underground, The Hangar is now being recognized as one of the most original and entertaining groups to emerge in the past forty years. With a stage show chock full of energy and curse words, crowds are drawn to The Hangar like moths to a flame—which is not to say that audience members spontaneously combust upon seeing them. The Hangar are often touted as the “best opening band I’ve ever seen”, and they have shared the stage with the likes of Mos Def, Sadat X, Camp lo, Talib Kweli, El-P, Company Flow, Aesop Rock, Murs, Aceyalone, Pep Love, Mr. Lif and Akrobatik, the Juggaknots, SA Smash, Stronghold, Soul Position, Atmosphere, and many others. Hangar 18 is poised to have a break out year.
The recorded history of Hangar 18 dates back to the previous century, when they were featured on numerous releases with and without the rest of their crew, the Atoms Family. Much of the early material by The Hangar did not include the production work of paWL, as he did not join the group until 2002, a period which is now known in hip-hop lore as “the enlightened age”. Wind and Alaska recorded much of their early work with their fellow Atoms men Cannibal Ox, Cryptic, Jestoneart, and CipOne. The Hangar is featured on the underground classic The Persecution of Hip Hop and The Prequel Album. In addition Windnbreez and Alaska were featured on the “Random B-Sides CD” from Weightless Records. All this time, paWL was blowing peoples minds with his production work, most notably “Front On This” by Mr. Lif and his work with The Presence.
As we crossed into the new century, the planets moved ever closer towards alignment and Alaska was featured on the seminal Cannibal Ox album, The Cold Vein. Windnbreez and Alaska were featured on Def Jux Presents 2 as well as the CP Records release Euphony. During this time paWL was throwing scratches on songs for everyone from Cannibal Ox to Aesop Rock and continued his searing production work with The Presence. Eventually these two super powers collided and the shockwaves are still being felt throughout the world, launching the Hangar sound.
God looked down from heaven and giggled like a schoolgirl on mescaline when he heard the sweet music created by this threesome. From jump, the three clicked as paWL’s sound was the perfect canvas for Alaska & Wind’s illustrious lyrics.
Thus far, the Hangar have released a black label single (“Where We At” b/w “Hangar 18 and the Temple of Doom”) on Definitive Jux, and have put out The Shameless Self-Promotional Mix CD, showing MC’s that they should only put out instrumental versions of songs if they want to be outshined on their own beats. The Hangar also wrote and performed the theme music for VH1’s documentary “Hip-Hop Babylon”. Many feel that the music was the only thing that made the show worthwhile.
As we move into 2004, expect a full media blackout on anything not Hangar 18 related. The group will have two songs on Def Jux presents 3 and a single with remixes from El-P and Blockhead. Their first full-length album, The Multi-Platinum Debut Album, is being released June 15th, a day now nationally recognized as “#1 Stunna Day”. Hangar 18 is poised to take over the entertainment industry, so move over Paris Hilton and Lionel Richie’s butt ugly, daughter there’s something meatier. And it’s not just Lionel Richie’s daughter’s butt.