HANiF Is Quitting Rap to Open a Barbershop

The MC formerly known as Luck-One plans to open a barbershop on Portland's South Waterfront that will also double as a rare bookseller.

The Portland rapper formerly known as Luck-One is now the barber formerly known for being a rapper.

On June 26, Hanif Collins—the once self-professed "King of the Northwest," who began performing under the stylized name of "HANiF." during a recently ended three-year stint in New York—surprise released what he's calling his final album, Dance! (Despite the Pain). He made the album, which features cameos from John Legend and Estelle, available through his Bandcamp for only a few hours.

"At some point, I stopped looking at my talent as something that is measured in how much I can exploit it commercially," Collins says.

Related: "HANiF on his name change, meeting Yeezus, the Eric Garner protests and whether he'd ever consider returning to the Northwest for good."

Now, he's transitioning into a new business venture: a combination barbershop and rare bookstore called Scissor Work, located on Portland's South Waterfront.

Though he's long had an interest in cutting hair, "it became a passion for me in New York," Collins says. "What I would do is find the richest barbershops, where they're cutting rich white people. They always need a brother, because on the slim chance there's a brother walking down the street in SoHo who wants to pay $50 for a haircut, who's going to cut it?"

But Collins says his store will "cater to everyone."

"A barbershop is a gathering place for men," he says. "If I can create a space where people can come in and get their haircut regardless of their cultural background, then I can be one of the first people to start those conversations we need to have to move ourselves into a society where we really understand each other."

Collins will also sell "leftist and banned books" at the store, some from his own collection.

Scissor Work, located at 0630 SW Gaines St. in the Riva on the Park building, soft opens today. Collins is aiming for a grand opening at the end of July.

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