Hip-hop artist Hasan "H.A.Z." Griffin was born and raised in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, NY. He began rapping at age 12. The youngest of eight in a household of musicians, it was almost a given that he'd become one, too. His father, Michael Griffin, was a singer, and his older brother Deshawn “Vinch” Jones was an aspiring rap artist. These two, along with recorded artists such as Michael Jackson, Jay-Z, Lupe Fiasco, Common, Talib Kwali, and Mos Def, have been major influences on H.A.Z.'s style. He got his start and shocked his neighborhood with sixteen memorable bars appearing on a local mix tape called “Rush What.”
H.A.Z. appeared on that tape along with childhood friends Dre The General and Don Juan Naiquan. They didn't stop there: they just kept creating new songs for mix tapes and rap battles. All three decided to pursue solo rap careers, after noticing how successful the local mix tapes had been. H.A.Z.'s determination to become successful increased after his father's death on June 19, 2007. He thought to himself, “It didn't work for my father or brother, and somebody has to make it big. Maybe it's destined for me.”
Soon H.A.Z. began entering showcases, doing features ...