Local Wire

Hangar 18

With a name cribbed from a mysterious Air Force base that houses UFOs, you would expect Hangar 18 (the latest group to emerge from underground hip-hop stalwarts Def Jux) to sound like your usual X-Files nerd rap, i.e., long on consonants and light on grooves. But while its jittery, effects-laden production oftentimes sounds like something plucked from the swirling eddies of a distant black hole, the overall effect of Hangar 18 is more visceral than cerebral. On the group's debut album, last year's ironically titled The Multi-Platinum Debut, Hangar 18 MCs Alaska and Windnbreeze pound out rhymes with jackhammer intensity, while the leadoff single "Where You At" and the stellar "Bar Hopping" wouldn't sound out of place in da club. Expect a high-energy, freewheeling live show.
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Samuel Chennault