Half Man Half Amazing: In memory of Praverb The Wyse
This is not an attempt to get you to go out and watch the “Half Man Half Amazing” tribute video to Praverb the Wyse. As a matter of fact, you won’t find a link to it anywhere in this post. Rather, this is just my account of my relationship with Praverb and how he has influenced my artistry and impacted my life. If you knew Praverb on any kind of a personal level, my story won’t seem all that unique to you. it will, however, confirm the type of person he was both on and off the mic . . . .
It was around 2008 when I first heard any music by Praverb. He had Just dropped “Center of Attention” and I was instantly hooked. Around that same time, I was returning to being an emcee after an extended hiatus.
I’m not sure through which medium I reached out to Praverb; but, I remember sending him a message and asking him if he would consider doing a collaboration with me. I had done some research and discovered that he was from the DMV, which is where I am from, and I knew immediately for that reason and his mic skills that we had to work together. He responded back almost immediately and asked me to send him my concept for the collab and the track that I wanted to use. I was pretty excited for a lot of different reasons, so I wasted no time sending him what he asked for. Again, he responded almost instantly. His response, however, was not what I expected . . . he declined. He said that he wasn’t feeling the beat. If I am being honest, my feelings were hurt. So at that point, I decided I would leave it alone and move on.
Maybe a month or so later, I received a message from him. It was nothing more than a “hey, how you doing? I hope all is well.” I was shocked! I had been reaching out to many other artist at the same time; and, very few if any, would respond – let alone follow up to see how I was doing. I figured if someone like Praverb The Wyse took the time to ask me about how I was doing, that I had better take advantage of the opportunity; so, I responded. I was hoping, initially, to be able to tap into his resources and grow my own brand and career from it. The funny thing is, as he and I began to communicate more regularly, the less I was interested in his resources and the more I wanted to get to know the man behind Praverb.
Over the next few years, we continued to communicate on a regular basis, initially through email and social media; but, eventually through telephone conversations as well. We had developed what I consider to be a pretty solid friendship. Even though we had a love of [hip-hop] music in common, very little of our conversations were centered around music; rather, they were centered around family, jobs, school, relationships and whatever else we had going on at the time. I still followed his musical endeavors via social media and Praverb.net; but, even though I enjoyed his music and his writings, I enjoyed his approach and outlook on life in general just as much.
In 2012 during one of our rare music conversations, he suggested that we do a song together. At the time, I was working on an EP with Icelandic beatmaker King Verse (who Praverb had introduced me to) entitled “The Gemini Effect”. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to work with THE Praverb The Wyse. So again, he asked me to send him a concept and a beat. I had been here before with “P”, so I was a little nervous; but, my dude King verse had made a track for me that sampled a piece from one of Praverb’s songs from his “Professional Hobbyist” album. I figured if I was going to have any chance at all, this beat would be it; so, I sent it to him. A couple of weeks had gone by; but, I didn’t hear anything. I was getting a little nervous because that wasn’t like Praverb to just not respond at all. Towards the end of the third week, I was building up the nerve to ask him what he thought when I finally received an email from him: “Sorry for the delay, bro. Check this out and tell me what you think.” He had recorded his verse to the track and sent me a reference for my approval. I remember feeling like a kid in a candy store with a brand new hundred dollar bill! The song would go on the EP as “Love Music II (The Fix)”, and his verse is still one of my favorite Praverb offerings to this day.
In 2013, I was honored to be able to meet Praverb face-to-face for the first time. He and his family were transitioning to the Tampa Bay area and he made it a point for us to get together and have lunch. That one meeting turned into several face-to-face meetings; and again, they were less about music and more about being friends. Even though I had been in Tampa for several years by then, I pretty much stayed to myself; so, it was refreshing to think that I would finally have a friend that was local that I could hang out with. P was a stay at home dad when they moved to Tampa, so hanging out was a little harder than expected; however, we continued to have regular lunch meetings and almost daily telephone conversations.
It was during one of those lunch meetings that I confided in P that I was worn out from the music game. I told him that I was considering hanging up the mic because my level of passion that I was putting into it was not reciprocated in the response that I was getting. What he said to me, I will never forget. He said to me (paraphrased) “I have watched you grow as an emcee and I think you would be doing the industry a disservice if you were to walk away now . . .” Wow . . . he left me speechless with that.
It was because of his words and encouragement that I decided to give the game one more shot. I launched a crowd funding campaign to raise the resources for my latest project “Renaissance Man”. Praverb offered to help with the entire endeavor, from launching the campaign to promoting the album. He is a very important piece of Renaissance Man and I owe its completion to his constant encouragement and the selfless contribution of his time and knowledge base.
The last time I spoke to P, it was early evening on September 16th. He was excited to tell me about some ideas he had to maximize Facebook interactions in promoting the project. He mentioned that he was a little under the weather and that he wanted to spend some time with Mattie before he went to bed. I had no idea that would be the last time we would speak . . . .
I met Praverb as an emcee. We quickly became friends; and, that friendship developed into a mentorship. I learned a lot from Praverb . . . how to improve my artistry, how to develop relationships, how to be patient; and, most of all, how to be authentic. The best part about knowing Praverb is that everyone that has ever interacted with him probably has a story similar to my own. For one man to make that much of an impact on people’s lives all across the globe . . . that is truly amazing . . . You are truly missed, brother!