A member of the mighty Scribbling Idiots crew, Theory Hazit has an impressive discography to his name. He’s the artist behind underground classics like Extra Credit, Thr3e (produced by DertBeats), and Fall of the Light Bearer. If you’re familiar with his work, you already know he’s an incredible emcee. But sometimes words don’t suffice and you just have to let the music speak for itself; this is what he does on his first beat tape of 2017.
In usual beat tape fashion, there are a lot of tracks to choose from. However, this need not intimidate any potential listeners (especially those unfamiliar with instrumental hip-hop) as most of the 20 tracks are under the two minute mark. Most of the music on IT’S WHATEVER keeps itself within underground territory, that is to say, straightforward hip-hop beats that make you nod your head. You can tell that Theory’s been digging in the crates when you hear the soul vocals, strings, and other ripped from vinyl instruments. Interestingly enough, the drums sound borderline digital most of the time, making for a synthesis of old and new beat making technologies. “your apologies are lame” encapsulates the general spirit of the collection, and if you like music that makes you feel cold and sad, then this is your song. “so you move on” is noteworthy for its interesting EQ techniques, as the dynamics are manipulated in an unpredictable direction. While the album is generally cohesive, there are some surprises along the way. For instance, “so i moved on” is a shuffling post-jazz beat that paints a picture of emotional triumph, making for my favourite song on IT’S WHATEVER. As well, “thank you” will have you on the edge of your seat with its – can I call it jungle themed? – aesthetics.
That being said, the album has its imperfections. To start, mastering seemed like a peripheral task, as I found myself adjusting the volume between some songs. As well, the hi-hat on “don’t apologize” was a little rough on the ears. Most of the drums on this album sound great, but this hi-hat sounds like a bad free sound effect. If I had to choose a least favourite track, it would without a doubt be “ion kare” with its headache inducing repetition.
Nevertheless, these are minor offences, and Theory Hazit has made an excellent soundtrack to compliment your studying, writing sessions, and other creative efforts. While so much instrumental hip-hop is generic and forgettable, this is an album that deserves to be revisited. You can listen to and purchase IT’S WHATEVER right here, and if you like what Theory’s cooking, he’s already released another beat tape.