Humble Beast (January 10, 2012)
Review by Ahnon Knomis
Those familiar with the individual catalogs of producer Dert and the emcee Theory Hazit can fully appreciate the caliber of a combined effort. Fortunately for us listeners we now get to enjoy the product of two extremely talented individuals with unique styles putting in work at what they do best. Setting the proverbial bar high is Dert on the beats and Theory Hazit on the mic. No guest emcees. None needed. No other producers. None needed. However, 13 cuts deep and you may need reconstructive surgery for what comes after repeated listens!
If you are familiar with the Lord Fire series then you already know whats up. Theory Hazit for the past two editions has teamed up with a single producer (Vintage on LF1 and Beus Bengal on LF2) for a collaborative release. Thr3e marks the third Lord Fire release, yet dropping the Lord Fire moniker on this latest edition. Same formula, different name. In this case, the dream team of Haz and Dert take the stage.
Not familiar with Dert’s body of work? I highly encourage you to check out the many beat tapes and mixtapes like Dert Floyd – Westside of the Moon, Talk Strange, Sometimes I Rhyme Slow, The Short List, Fledgling, etc… Not to mention any of the VAST solo and home crew albums by Tunnel Rats. You won’t be disappointed.
Theory Hazit is no stranger to the boards as a fellow producer plus deejay and emcee triple threat. Haz is responsible for classics like Extra Credit, Modern Marvels with producer Toni Shift, AM Neja with Othello, Determined to Fly with LMNO etc. He also has countless albums with his crew Scribbling Idiots, solo beat tapes, mixtapes and even guest appearances which have a tendency to create singles becoming stand-outs by themselves.
In the age of the 50 Cent’s, Drakes, Nikki Minaj and Jay-Z’s of the World it’s refreshing to hear an album that can compete on a radio/commercial level and take a leap above. With a radio familiar sound of R&B hooks and bridges being soulfully sung to back up storied rhymes and hard hitting clean modern beats… This is one album that both delivers in the message category as it does in the modern production quality department.
The packaging of a well produced and mixed album from top to bottom is apparent. I have absolutely no qualms in sharing this with even the most blatant of friends whom are immediately opposed to hearing a Gospel message yet enjoy secular radio. The pill is easy to swallow when it’s as smooth as Thr3e. Having said that, Thr3e is harboring no intent of being an album straying far from what those familiar with a Dert and Theory Hazit album have become in past offerings. That honest and smooth flow of Hazit is evident as this marks the longest production to date for the artist. Spending an entire year to get it right and put fourth the extra effort.
Standouts on the album? Absolutely! The problem is where I should begin? A few tracks I want to call attention to. One is “Jo Jo Dancer”. This cut is a great showcase of both Dert’s skills on a break-beat with layering of emotions and sounds as it does with Theory Hazit’s skills as an emcee combined with scratch techniques. This is one of the few instances on the album where scratches takes the lead on accenting the beat rather than singing hooks. No diss to the singing as I rather enjoyed it on other tracks however as an old schoolers like myself I’m more inclined to the scratch skills to keep me locked in. Haz’s passion in the message and lyrics is very evident and effortless. When you hear a real emcee putting words together and flowing over a beat like the two were intent on making you put your hands up and head nod… Then you know its hot. Some songs just have that effect. “Jo Jo Dancer” did that for me. Only problem is… I wanted more! A 2:33 track to close out the album? It got me hyped and made me hit repeat so I guess it served its purpose on the placement.
“Find Me” is simply incredible. A song that rivals anything you might hear on the radio. A storied song about past indiscretions and leaving them behind you for future shine. Think “I Just Wanna Go Home” with a different approach and on another level. The guest singing of B. Reith adds a dimension of sound to the production that you can’t help but find the hook addictive and uplifting!
There’s something for everyone on this album… for the underground heads you’ll have plenty of material to sink into your headphones. “Angel pt.2” is the love-ode about relationships and grace over that good music feeling beat. “Doomsday Insurance” is a dark grimy beat like a Pharoahe Monch “Simon Says” vibe depicting Revelations in the Bible! Crazy. Reminded me of some old Secta7, Shadow of the Locust, Remnant Militia, Killah Priest steelo going back a decade or so. Most of you reading this probably have no idea what I’m talking about but that’s okay.
There’s far too many stand-outs to pick and describe one by one. Instead of breaking down the album I HIGHLY encourage you to just go get this for yourself. Support the artist and the label you can purchase a copy at any digital download site paying a few bucks to ensure future releases! Sphere even has the rare physical copies so don’t sleep on that if you like something to feed your mp3 player but still like knowing you have a physical product to hold. So stop reading this now and go get you some…
No… really. Do it right now! What’s the hold up?!