Praverb The Wyse – Professional Hobbyist (2011)
Artist: Praverb The Wyse
Album: Professional Hobbyist
1. My Journey
2. Professional Hobbyist
3. Blue Collar (ft. Don Streat)
4. Everlasting Struggle
5. For My People
6. The Critic
7. Nothing To Gain
8. I Pray (Fall To My Knees)
9. That’s How It Is (ft. Don Streat)
10. November 11th
11. The Critic (Smimooz Remix)
Lets face it, we live in a world where people are just not honest with themselves and others. Artists portray themselves often times as something that they are not. It happens everywhere but is extremely prevalent in the music industry. It is especially, true in a convoluted independent music environment when so many people are vying for exposure. In walks, Praverb The Wyse, who with his album, Professional Hobbyist, bucks that trend.
We have talked about Praverb before as a member of the collective known as The Brainstormers. What separates him, and makes him noteworthy? Well part of that is just being genuine. He speaks from his own experiences and not that of someone else. The second element that makes him worth talking about is that God given ability. Lets face it, not everybody has a voice to be an emcee. You can’t teach that or coach that. Praverb’s voice and flow command respect and attention. Professional Hobbyist is the culmination of that honesty and talent that everyone will be able to appreciate.
My Journey is an appropriate beginning to the album. The production is mellow, and perhaps even solemn. Praverb talks about his drive and determination to make it as an artist. He details his progress and evolution at the different stages in his life. On the last verse he touches on perhaps the greater ‘wants’ in life. He speaks on his desire to be a husband and different aspects of his personal life. He lets the listener into his universe and that’s really what makes him unique. His rhymes are the reflection of his life. He’s not projecting anything different.
On the title track, the beat has a little more momentum than the aforementioned, My Journey. That’s in part due to the fact that DJ Grazhoppa is cutting up the chorus giving this song a more uptempo feel. Praverb gives you insight as to what life is like for a man who has all the skill in the world but has to endure a daily grind. There is the duality of being the man who works, goes to school, and then the emcee who holds his art to be sacred. How do you reconcile those paths? This song is essential listening to anyone who holds down a career or goes to school, and aspires to be a musician. Check this snippet from his second verse
The pencil is my tool, yes my instrument / The notebook the street walker, and I’m pimpin it / Kicking simple scripts / The opposite of intricate / Stay the course, no matter how bad the mission get / Be patient and wait your turn / The Hobbyist with the grace to learn
My favorite track off of the album is Nothing To Gain. I love the spaced out production. But more than that I love how Praverb is sticking to his guns in his mentality of sticking to his ideals and moral code in making ‘it’ in the music business. The chorus says it better than I ever could:
I’m not going to whine. I’m not going to complain / This rap money here, It all be the same / Major or indie, I’m still in my lane. / If I rep like you, I got nothing to gain
There are so many excellent songs on this eleven track release, I could speak on each one. Professional Hobbyist is that sincere expression from an artist that as a fan I crave to hear (but seldom do). Praverb possesses the necessary skill and even the intangibles (ie “the voice”) to carry this album. The production is strong. There are tracks to vibe to and there are some funky rhythms included. But really when we talk about great albums, they have to be cohesive and that is exactly what Professional Hobbyist is…cohesive. Everything flows very naturally. Although the album is very much his story, it very well could be any of our stories as well and that connection is what makes this album, well, special. It’s free, so give it your time and attention…