What’s clear on his debut album Extra Credit is that Theory Hazit has every intention of being a rapper in the socially conscious mode. He never uses profanity, he loves God, he loves his kids, and even when he’s laying down a battle track, the meanest he ever gets are one-liners like “Stop feeling yourself / It’s bad for your health.” Facing down a stereotype in a genre perceived to breed negativity, Theory Hazit is out to promote the positive side of the genre. He’s even got some skills, tossing out lines like “Your Hawaiian punch lines like Vitamin MC, look / Your whole composition, malnutrition” or “We put in work and give ‘til it hurts for real / Time is deaf to the wack, better up your skill / And go higher…” with a flow reminiscent of a young Common Sense. So why hasn’t he broken through? While it’s invariably quality, there’s just not all that much here to catch your ear and hold on. The beats are fairly formulaic sample-based things, the songs all sort of blend together after a while, and Theory himself hasn’t quite developed the sort of charisma that the truly great hip-hop artists possess. Another album or two to refine his craft and let his personality shine, however, and he could well be on track toward something wonderful.
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// Notes from the Road
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