I first learned of Praverb the Wyse by way of his phenomenal hip hop blog, via an interview he had done with Blame One. Our paths serendipitously converged again, and this time I was fortunate enough to catch wind of Praverb as a musical artist. The playful, Homestar Runner-style album cover, and the fact that the album can be downloaded for free at bandcamp.com, definitely leaves the listener ill-prepared for the ridiculously high quality of the music contained in Professional Hobbyist.Praverb the Wyse seems more like a professional artist who dabbles in the 9-5 grind. The title of the album does, however, hint at where Praverb is coming from – blue collar hustle + school + moonlighting as an emcee. The album is a cohesive collection of tracks giving the listener an insider’s look at Praverb’s past, present and future with a focus on the music. Praverb collaborates with a wide range of talented, like-minded artists: This Is Tomorrow, Manu Beats, LX-Beats, Skipless, Muneshine and more… His BrainStormers crewmate, Dj Grazzhoppa, adds the scratches on the hooks of three of the ten tracks, including the title track. Praverb also shares the booth with a long time collaborator of his, Don Streat. With skill, passion, determination and the support of a strong team, Praverb gives us Professional Hobbyist.
My Journey is and excellent introduction to Praverb. Here he, as you may have guessed, tells us where he came from, where he is, and where he is going. More importantly, he introduces us to his style, skill and heart. The sincerity in his voice makes the listener believe that he is “gonna make it, man [he’s] never gonna stop”. The phrase “real recognize real” is a common one in hip hop, and a fitting way to introduce Praverb’s music – those who truly love hip hop will recognize this as authentic music immediately upon hearing/feeling the sampled keys and the warmth of the needle’s sound traversing the imperfections of the sampled vinyl.
Once the Wyse one has the listener’s ear, and respect, he ups the pace a bit with the title track, Professional Hobbyist. The beat is ill and the scratches on the hook are phenomenal and the sound bytes “with this mic I’m God” and “I put words together like Peter Jennings” works well with what Praverb is doing with this track. Braggadocio and the ability to craft a story are an important elements of a well-rounded emcee, and this track is Praverb’s well-crafted lyrical flexing.
The nine tracks that follow carry the same authenticity and strengths of the first two, and more importantly they carry the tone of the album’s title well. Some of the notable tracks are: The Critic – this track’s tone and content are the most perfectly matched, in my opinion, and the subject matter happens to hit home for me, and I trust will for thousands of others. I Pray (Fall To My Knees) – this is the most introspective, soul-searching track on the album and that combination allows the rest of us with imperfect lives, looking for answers, to connect on a very real level with Praverb. November 11th – Praverb opens up his personal life for us, by divulging some of the details of his relationships (romantic and other), past and present. The music that creates the atmosphere in which he shares such intimate details crosses genre lines (minus the very hip hop drums) and shows a bit of diversity from the team.
Praverb the Wise’ album Professional Hobbyist leads me to believe that this artist in his formative stages will, in fact, make it from the ranks of the amateurs to joining the “professionals” who are able to make their livings from their artistry. Please head on over to Praverb’s bandcamp site and download the album (with instrumentals!!!) for free. Share it around if you enjoy it and please continue to support independent artists like this, who do it for free because they love it but who hope to do it for a living as well!
Peace and Love,