I’ve got a good one for you today, I’ve been a fan of Portland’s Theory Hazit for a long time over a decade at least. An integral part in the supercrew Scribbling Idiots, Hazit has produced for some of the best names in hip-hop and emceed alongside with the best names as well. Last year Theory Hazit did the unthinkable and released a new instrumental album every month, that ended on him having his first instrumental release on vinyl in December. I had a chance to sit down with the Portland standout to talk about a myriad of topics.
iStandard: Theory Hazit, I feel like we’ve been trying to link for a minute, but I’m glad we’ve finally got some time to chat. First off congratulations on finishing film school, how goes it?
Theory Hazit: Thank you! Things are going well. It was rough start after I finished up school but back on track with music plus film projects.
iStandard: For those who somehow still aren’t hip, who is Theory Hazit?
TH: Theory Hazit is device used to merge music and visuals together for the sole purpose of stimulating the soul for the Godly setup. Haha. Nah. I’m an emcee that likes to make beats and produce for legends in the game. The catalog is lōcō. I’m a filmmaker as well.
iStandard: I’m excited about this interview because usually when myself or other writers sit down with you as an artist, its usually to talk about the emcee side of your career. But you’ve been making beats and producing for longer (?) than you’ve been emceeing correct? How did you start your production journey?
TH: I’ve actually been rapping longer than I have been making these. Production started out as a necessity because no one was available to do tracks for me or my crew at the time. I started making tracks consistently out of a garage back in 2001. But even before that, the love for production was birthed when I was beatboxing for my cousin. We were huge fans of hip hop and only in the fourth grade ..haha.
iStandard: Another facet of your grind is that it seems you’re almost always making beats, I’m pretty confident you’ve been sending me beat reels for at least the last couple years, stacked on top of the instrumental LPs you put out last year, how are you able to keep cranking out heaters?
TH: Staying inspired is key. I listen to everything. Also, money is a good motivator. I don’t have a day job. All I do is make beats every single day.
iStandard: I don’t know what got into you last year, but you decided to release an instrumental project every single month last year. What inspired you to go off like that?
TH: In the later part of 2016, I began shooting my senior film for class. And in order to fund that film, I needed to create a kick starter or just make a lot of beats and sell them. I ended up making beats and doing well. So for the following year I challenged myself to drop a beat tape for every month to make a living. Another thing that inspired me to do that was just being a survivor out here in this world and using my gift to stay alive.
iStandard: You’ve produced for some unbelievable names over the years Masta Ace, Jermiside, Redman and many more, who’s been your favorite to work with and out of all the production you’ve done what’s your favorite beat?
TH: Redman is a favorite, of course. Kokane is easy to work with. King Dusty, Mr. Lif, Tash of tha Alkaholiks.. those are my favs. My favorite beat right now is a jam I made for someone special. It will never be heard anywhere. She’s the only one that has it. Other than that, it’s probably “Any Of Us” by XP.
iStandard: I’ve been an avid supporter for a minute and the announcement for “The Soul Chops” on vinyl caught me all the way off guard. How did you hook with DJ Sneakers and Kiasu Records to make this happen?
TH: Yo, Sneakers is a good friend of mine. We met in the Portland hip hop scene years ago. We’d chat every now and then after shows. One night he tells me he likes putting out friends’ music and was down to talk about releasing a project. Later I seen how he curated Kiasu Records and released, my friend and fellow musician, Libretto’s music. Right then is when I had to move forward and get a project in Sneakers’ possession, haha.
iStandard: Now I can never follow what you’re doing, what’s coming next, whether you’ve stopped emceeing or what haha. You’ve had an intense last couple of years, what can we expect from you in 2018?
TH: More raps, less beats and a few films. I have a few albums coming this year. One with L.A. based-New Orleans producer, DaiN, entitled, I Love It Down Here. ..and a hip-hop/afro punk record with producer Rattlehawk... don’t let that one scare you. And of course, I will finally rap over my own production. Yes... a full album with Hazit raps and Hazit beats. The movie I produced and filmed in 2016 will release mid/late this year. It’s called Distorted. It’s a musical but not in the traditional sense. And no.. there is no rapping in this musical. Yuck. Haha. Last but not least, I’m writing a short film comedy series based on events in my life. The cast so far is beautiful.