I have a theory about Thearthur Readié Washington, better known as Theory Hazit, and it’s that he makes music because he HAS TO. He can’t argue he’s doing it to get rich or famous. For one even though he’s known as a producer, almost every artist he’s produced for has been tagged as a “Christian rapper” and so by extension he’s considered one too. If you don’t already know the saying let me verse you on one I heard a lot growing up: “It’s harder for a rich man to get into heaven than for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle.” Christians aren’t supposed to be rich, although a lot of prosperity preachers seem to have forgotten that. Furthermore if you’re a producer you’re already the man behind the man instead of being “the man” so it’s hard to get love outside of reviews like this one.

And yes maybe I’d be “Grievin'” too if I did a song that only had 500 views on YouTube almost a decade after it was released. I don’t believe that’s how Theory Hazit rolls though. “I See What You Did There” is not an album up its own ass. The title might be a sly reference to the fact Hazit is the unseen factor in a lot of fly music, but he’s not out here dropping avant garde tracks for posterity so that 50 years from now people will hail him as ahead of his time. “Ha!” is exactly what it says. It’s a head nodding track punctuated by a single voice saying “HA” and some singers going “la la la la la.” It’s an infectious groove that begs for a rapper to spit something wicked on it, but no one ever does, so you just end up jamming to his drum rolls all by yourself.

Let me expound a little further on my opening paragraph with a personal anecdote. The reason I’m convinced Theory HAS TO make music is the same reason I HAVE TO write about it. It’s just deeply embedded in who I am as a person. I have a creative itch that has to be scratched and if I don’t it constantly nags me to do so. It’s hard to say why some people have that impulse and others don’t, but if you have that itch and don’t scratch it, it can drive you damn near insane. I hear what Theory is doing on “Cramalam” and I get that he’s scratching — figuratively and literally. He drives the beat forward, backs it up in reverse, but never forgets his direction at any point. He knows where he’s going and wants to take us all for a ride.

When that bug bites you there’s nothing you can do. Whether one person or a million listen, you’re gonna do what you have to do. I’m writing about “I See What You Did There” for the same reason. It doesn’t matter if you’re the only one reading this right now. Thank you by the way for being that one. I’m just being honest and telling you I would have done it even if there was one minus one reading it. I’d be reading what I wrote and hearing the eerie harmonics of “That Smile of Yours” in my head. I’d want those words to evoke that feeling — that mesmerizing sense of someone who fundamentally knows which samples to put together in what sequence to make your ears perk up and your neurons fire. Hazit has it. He taps the main vein in my brain.

It would probably be excessive to compare Theory Hazit to the late J Dilla — but not unwarranted. Mr. Washington has a gift and we’re blessed that he’s willing to share it with others, or should I say more correctly that he’s COMPELLED to share it. I’m sure it doesn’t matter to him that it’s appreciated. He has to know intrinsically that he’s good. Perhaps there are even people around him gassing up his ego and telling him so. Then he’ll look at the numbers on streaming services and laugh about it, because no matter how much he hears it, he’s still languishing in semi-obscurity. This review probably can’t help him there but at least it won’t hurt him either. If you haven’t given him a chance because of the “Christian rap” tag you should rethink that decision and try again.

Theory Hazit :: I See What You Did There
9Overall Score