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Pro'Verb's Got a New Wiz Anthem

The frothy extracurriculars in this Wiz-Cavs series have been banished to the sidelines, and we're (mostly) back to talking about basketball. That goes for the series's hip-hop participants as well, which is why Pro'Verb--the local rapper who famously responded to Jay-Z's DeShawn Stevenson diss track with a defense of D.C.--has a new, basketball-related track. It's called "Wizards Game 6 Anthem," it's based on Fat Joe's remix of the "300" soundtrack, and it's more or less about basketball more than battling emcees.

Who is this Pro'Verb? He's 21-year old Calvin Roberson, a P.G. County emcee who's been battlin' since his days at Largo High. He heard Jay-Z's DeShawn track, heard how it had been used against Stevenson in his own city, and heard the people calling for a response from the so-called DMV.

"If it was New Orleans, Lil Wayne would have responded; if it was St. Louis, Nelly would have said something," Pro'Verb told me this afternoon. "For us not having one of those major MAJOR rappers, I felt like it was kind of being taken for granted, and someone had to step up, regardless of how big the artist was....In my mind, what does it matter who Pro'Verb is? Someone stood up and said something and is representing your city."

By Monday morning, that response--laid over Jay-Z's seminal "Public Service Announcement (Interlude)" track--made its way to WKYS afternoon drive host EZ Street. "I was like, 'Oh, I've got to get this on immediately," EZ Street told me. "I was like, 'Ladies and gentlemen, the DMV has spoken.' People have been requesting it ever since."

It was picked up by countless sports and hip-hop blogs and message boards, local news programs and sports talk radio stations, more places than Pro'Verb can keep track of, making it "most definitely" the biggest eruption in his fledgling career.

Stevenson's reaction?

"I thought it was very, very, very hot," said the guard, who estimated he's listened to it 60 times this week.

James was asked whether he's heard the track; "James' face turned stony and he simply said 'No,' " the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported.

But Pro'Verb was motivated, he said repeatedly, not by the desire to create cheap publicity nor by any enmity toward LeBron James. He just thought the Jay-Z onslaught was an unfair mixing of media, like "bringing guns to a knife fight." Jay-Z, a noted lyricist, was taking on a basketball player who didn't have a comparable platform to respond, and the implication that the D.C. area would take this insult quietly was belittling to local artists.

"I don't even know DeShawn; that wasn't really the point," Pro'Verb said. "It wasn't even about DeShawn, it was about Jay coming at DeShawn and him not even being a rapper... After not responding to so many rappers who come at you, now you come at a basketball player? It's not cool. That's a bama move to me."

But, as mentioned, just as cooler heads have prevailed on the court--with captains Antawn Jamison and Caron Butler stepping in to quiet the talking--so too has the hip-hop focus turned back to hoops.

"Hey, this is entertainment," said EZ Street, who continues to play the Pro'Verb track daily. "There's no reason for people to get excited about it, it's not serious."

Pro'Verb struck a similar note. He's hoping to make an appearance at Game 6 before a show at Fur and a competition on WPGC, and he thinks he D.C. area should unify around both its basketball team and its inspiring artists without seeking to stir up controversy.

"It's not a beef record, it's a pride record, that's the biggest thing that's been misconstrued," he said. "It's not about basketball; it's about men handling their business on the court and rappers handling their business at shows and on wax with other rappers. That's all this is about. I hope the Wizards stay focused and don't let any of this deter their attention from the mission we have at hand."

And that mission is?

"We bounce back," Pro'Verb said. "That's how we do."

(If you're interested, you can watch for Pro'Verb's upcoming "We Three Kings" mix tape with local rappers Rewind and Ransom Rellic and catch him on WPGC's "Ultimate Fight For The Mic.")

By Dan Steinberg  |  May 1, 2008; 5:33 PM ET
Categories:  Wizards  
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Next: The Wizards Disappear, With Smiles


If LeBron responding to DeShawn's comments is like Jay-Z responding to Soulja Boy, what is Pro'Verb responding to Jay-Z's diss track like?

This would make one hell of an S.A.T. question.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 1, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BRYAN | May 1, 2008 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Emcee is to PG County as Gilbert Arenas is to introverted.

And I'm a PG native.

Posted by: | May 1, 2008 7:39 PM | Report abuse


he's on myspace...go to "music" and then "pro'verb"

Posted by: DISTRICTofCARON | May 1, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: BRYAN | May 1, 2008 8:42 PM | Report abuse

It's on there.

Posted by: Mooby | May 1, 2008 9:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm watching 30 Rock on one of the televisions right now and apparently Cleveland sucks. I heard they're getting an Ikea though. Maybe they'll put it on that block that was hit by the tornado. I'm sure the people miss the bowling alleys and liquor stores.

Posted by: sitruc | May 1, 2008 9:58 PM | Report abuse

I've always used two m's for "bamma." Is one correct or are they both acceptable?

Posted by: sitruc | May 2, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

The new anthem is HOT FIRE! I really recommend they play this at the game. I mean, Im getting hype just listening to it. This is definitely one way to get the swagger and intensity up.

Posted by: Marie Kym Smith | May 2, 2008 4:02 AM | Report abuse

One "m" is correct for "bama" as the term derives from "Alabama."

Posted by: Lindemann | May 2, 2008 7:01 AM | Report abuse

That song sucks, and he used Jay Z's music to make it. Again, Jay Z wont make a run at clowns. Thats why he wont respond to clowns who try to "diss" him. Same reason LeBron has no response for Miss. DeShawna Stevenson aka "the statutory rapist". Pro'Verb wanted his pub so now he is getting it locally. Jay Z will not help put him on the map by responding to him. And the song Jay Z made had nothing to do with dissing DC, it was all about DeShawna calling someone out.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm sure the people miss the bowling alleys and liquor stores.

Posted by: sitruc | May 1, 2008 9:58 PM

Don't forget the Liquor Store Museum. That was a pretty good line.

Posted by: Kev | May 2, 2008 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I dont recall jay-z dissing DC. He dissed an average basketball player who plays for an average basketball team. And i do recall jay-z responding to people who have called him out. Why play a diss track from an unknown rapper who nobody has heard of? If you want to play local artists why not play an artist who is actually signed, and making moves. Like wale for instance has a track with the roots. But we would rather play a song from an artist dissing one of the greatest rappers of all time. And people out here wonder why DC cant get on for real. And this proverb guy is from PG so how is he defending his city?

Posted by: Anonymous | May 2, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I'm disappointed Wale didn't do this first.

Posted by: Larry Bird Flu | May 2, 2008 11:38 AM | Report abuse

i'll respect lebron when cleveland gets that ikea: never!

Posted by: CreditZard | May 2, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Everybody good today? Gotta agree with Doc J-Water on this one.

Jay-Z can't do no wrong.

Posted by: Suns4Life | May 2, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

"Jay-Z can't do no wrong."

...except at least half of "Kingdom Come," trying to make Memphis Bleek into a star, trying to run Def Jam, etc.

Posted by: Lindemann | May 2, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Here is a much better anthem directed at Queen Lebron. All of you who went to UMD will love the beat its laid over.

Go here to download it. C'mon DC, stand up. Let's Go Wizards!

Posted by: DMV_Resident | May 2, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

I just found this site...

I'm sure there are a bunch of other sites like this out there.

Posted by: Lil Mike | May 2, 2008 2:57 PM | Report abuse

Where's Steinz? We need scoop hue and outcry on the Songaila suspension.

Posted by: doclinkin | May 2, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I hadn't been following all of the Wiz stuff today(although I'll be at the game tonight). That Songaila suspension is a joke and part of why I can't take the officiating in the NBA seriously. There is no way that was intentional and deserving of a technical and suspension. All of the replays showed his arm was being held by James and he was just getting it out. Afterwards, James barely tried his hand at acting. I didn't follow what all of the media said after that, but I thought most realized it wasn't what the officials initially called it as. Meanwhile, James' flagrant from Game 1 is announced before Game 5 and nothing is done. I used to like James, but have lost a lot of respect for him leading into this series. Great players don't complain like he does. I still contend Jason Kidd's ejection was a result of the calls in the Wiz-Cavs series and that the NBA even considering suspending Stevenson shows how much of a joke they are. I've always been a fan of the NBA for the teams and the players, but the officiating and the leadership make it hard to be a fan. The NBA wastes time and money trying to fix an image that is too "urban" for their taste when the leadership and integrity of the game is the problem.

Posted by: sitruc | May 2, 2008 4:41 PM | Report abuse

wizards losss..........

Posted by: stiff | May 3, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

It was club Love that played that song..
What a wack and bama move by that club.
Pro'verb thanks for standing up.
Jay Z could diss a real artist like Nas, so he come after a b-ball player. True essence of a bama!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | May 3, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

GO PROVERB!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: buga | May 12, 2008 10:50 AM | Report abuse

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