Dwight Hobbes on Prof: Pulling no punches


2 thoughts on “Dwight Hobbes on Prof: Pulling no punches

  1. Well, comments are closed on Dwight’s article, which has somehow ended up being referenced on prof’s wikipedia page. Presumably they were closed since people like myself kept stumbling across it years later while reading up on a musician they enjoy and leaving dissenting opinions.

    Dwight’s review is skin deep at best, I’m guessing he, like yourself, didn’t get far into the album before turning it off. The album is front-loaded with the sort of material the review is responding to, Prof’s signature ridiculous over the top mix of 90% self glorification and 10% self ridicule. These tracks are not serious art, they are entertainment, cartoonish parodies of modern hip hop that both poke fun at the style in part by successfully embodying it (as most great parody does).

    These songs are easy to dislike, I won’t fault anyone for not having an appetite for them, but if you get over pretense and let yourself be entertained they are also easy to like. Prof’s rhyme schemes and production are always excellent, even while his delivery often has a loose, almost improvisational feel. This sort of material makes up most of Prof’s lexicon, but not all of it.

    Even on the album Dwight was reviewing, there are serious tracks that his review completely ignores, hence my thesis that he didn’t really listen to it, either turning it off prematurely, or tuning out after he’d drawn his conclusions. I’m specifically thinking of “Myself” in which prof relates his experiences growing up with an abusive father, it hits hard. While several other tracks in the later half of the album are also of serious merit, “Myself” is enough to single-handedly refute Dwight’s claim that the album is “…without a shred of redeeming artistry”. He clearly drew a conclusion early into the album and didn’t attempt to find points counter to his view.

    I won’t go into detail about Dwights stupid choice to compare Prof with The Last Poets and Sugar Hill Gang, as if rap were not allowed to evolve past the 20th century. But I do have some thought’s about Becky’s comment you mentioned: “How is our local music culture going to evolve and get better if everyone is too nice to say that mediocre music is mediocre music?”
    – This prompt assumes 2 things incorrectly. 1) that critics reviews are what artists look to for feedback on their work. 2) that being positive about something will discourage someone from trying to improve upon it further.

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