Mix hip-hop with jazz, soul and a touch of poetry and you have Charlotte N.C. native haj, a hip urban poet with a beat.
HIS NAME IS ANTHONY J. HAMILTON, BUT YOU CAN CALL HIM haj.
Born in Washington D.C., raised in Charlotte N.C., Anthony J. Hamilton always felt a love for music and a pull towards hip-hop.
"My younger brother was doing it before me, he was in college and would come home with his rhymes and spitting verses. I didn't take it serious until I actually started writing and recording."
A fan of acts like De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, Yasiin Bey, Common, Talib Kweli, Hieroglyphics and The Roots, his style is harder to categorize than others.
"Honestly, my style is my Hip Hop influences, the music that I grew up listening too and my life experiences".
He decided to pursue his passion and hit the studio, with the finished product, the experimental "Daily Meditations" was created.
"The title speaks for itself. It's full of things that I thought about on a daily basis during that period. I was going through a whole transition, a musical transition. It started out being something totally different. By the time we recorded the album, it turned into a way to the left jazz, avant garde type of vibe."
The project that followed, "outside myself" showcases a more mature Haj and more life experiences.
"People have certain abilities for certain reasons. When it comes to music, writing and recording, if you have that ability, maybe you have it for a reason. Maybe what you went though can help someone else or maybe they can relate to you based on something similar they may have gone through. We all go through the same things, just in different ways."
Songs like "Fast Food", "Can't Get Out the Game", "I Got Options" and "Situation" all showcase the growth of haj as an artist.
"To do this particular project, I had to use my current life experiences, but I had to step outside of me to deal with it. It's basically about stepping outside your comfort zone. "
His newest, upcoming project is tentatively titled "If It Happened Overnight", in which a few singles have already been released, "Rich, Quick, Slow" , "Nothing In This World" and "Close By 9".
Aside from recording, you can catch Haj performing throughout his hometown of Charlotte North Carolina, or posted up at Wine Up on poetry night. Either way, you'll see him, being himself, and showing love to the culture that made him the man that he is today.