Snap music got you down?
When you hear DJ Unk do you think “DJ Ugh?”
Yes, radio rap has infected hip hop and put this once-attractive and vibrant art form in ill health. Please ignore any prescriptions for Chicken Noodle Soup and instead feed your soul something more nutritious, something like “Extra Credit” from Theory Hazit.
Sure, the industry is cyclical and every decade or so there’s a new voice declaring “Hip Hop Is Dead.” So while the complaint is not a new one, there is still validity behind it. Commercialism and unoriginality are running rampant. The music is sucking more than wind and is crippled by its lame, hedonistic lust. Thankfully we have artists (not simply urban dance salesmen) who are trained in CPR and can breathe new life into this beloved culture.
One such hero, Thearthur Washington (secret identity) / Theory Hazit (Justice League name), originates from Sin-City, Ohio by way of Kentucky. His style as both a producer and MC (yes, he has two super-powers) are reminiscent of Kanye West and Common - two fellow Midwesterners who brought hope on the GOOD Music label a few years back.
In fact, on tracks like Hello Kiddies and Mrs. Hazit he sounds an awful lot like Mr. Be. But this doesn’t feel like biting – more of a natural homage. Songs (not hits, or singles, or cuts) are crafted with depth and cover a variety of relatable, often spiritual, issues such as his relationship with his wife, children, and Messiah. His tone ranges from poignant (Ghetto) to humorous (Dumb Dunces) to feisty (Gossip Synopsis).
The beat backgrounds touch upon soul, R&B, and battle rap. Hazit produced two tracks with others originating from the likes of Tony Stone (another cat who hides a cape beneath his hoodie) and fellow Scribbling Idiots members Just Me and Re: Flex the Architect.
“Extra Credit” has that classic feel. It’s a pretty complete package of stirring music that you just know you’ll be replaying for years to come.
Hello Kiddies is particularly haunting. Rappers rarely share their families in song. Yet here is Theory Hazit peeling back the curtains to reveal his relationships with his children from natural and blended unions. The listener is treated to a real heart disclosure that is equal parts touching and earnest.
I.O.U. is another piece that penetrates the emotional wall too many hard-core acts erect between their stage and personal lives. This audio apology sounds very directed toward specific, unnamed individuals and yet the audience can relate it to their own circle of influence with ease. And when, after a long, almost uncomfortable pause, Hip Hop Is Music label owner/artist Braille closes out the poem by pointing the lyrics toward heaven, you’ll find it hard to resist hitting your knees in repentance.
So when you’ve 2 Stepped and Walked It Out as much as you can stand, take two tracks from “Extra Credit” and call me in the morning. You’re bound to feel much, much better.
Production 9 Lyrics 9 Message 9 Overall Quality
Release Date: June 12 2007
Record Label: Hip Hop Is Music
01.Lesson In Power
04.Emit Gninrut (Turning Time)
05.I Just Wanna Go Home
06.Dumb Dunces (feat. K-Drama)
10.After School Special (feat. Sojourn and Just Me)
11.I.O.U. (feat. Braille)
13.Decisions (feat. Sivion and Holmskillit)
14.Out With a Bang (feat. Sharlok Poems)