Humble Beast (2011)
Review by Aidan Severs
Prolific – that name just keeps on cropping up: Theory Hazit. Whether it’s a solo project, a release as part of Scribbling Idiots, a production credit on a Braille track or a guest verse, this tour de force is difficult to get away from; and you shouldn’t want to anyway.
Given that Hazit is schooled in each of the four elements it’s no wonder that this EP oozes the purest, triple distilled Hip Hop. The Rock Is Steady stands up straight and salutes Hip Hop culture and history – and then gets wild with it. With a running time close to the 15 minute mark the release is ideal for this impatient generation – there’s not time to hit the delete button and besides, Theory holds attention in a vice-like grip.
With instantly recognizable Hip Hop motifs in the production, Theory Hazit flips the realest, age-old samples (i.e. Mohawks’ ‘The Champ’ as sampled by Eric B & Rakim, Onyx, Ice Cube, Salt N Pepa, Stetsasonic, EPMD – the list goes on and on) and makes them sound timeless. He then goes on to tear them up with a no-holds barred flow of lyricism which quotes well known Hip Hop mantras as Theory pays dues to the forerunners – he presents as a Hip Hop historian (something which often is not evident in Christian Hip Hop releases). To add to the authentic feel the whole thing is correctly, and skilfully, cut and blended. Theory Hazit constantly throws in references to his faith in Christ and the title clearly has a double meaning. This release balances Hip Hop with faith making it a good evangelistic tool.
The only gripe the listener could possibly have with this release is its length – it’s so good that it’s easy to want more. However, I suspect that if it were any longer the awe-inspiring, breathtaking impact of this EP/mixtape may have been lost. Whilst Theory Hazit hasn’t reinvented the wheel here, he’s reminded us all that the wheel exists and that the wheel sounds good – Hip Hop like this is hard to find these days.
The folk at Humble Beast have been good enough to let this EP go for free download. It’s worth good money though, as it will delight any Hip Hop fan who cares about the genre’s 30-odd years of history.
For fans of: Theory Hazit, Scribbling Idiots, Ohmega Watts, Othello, Lightheaded, Sivion