The Professionals (hip-hop)
|Origin||Lakeland, Florida, United States|
|Genres||Hip hop, rock, pop, soul|
|Members||Garrett "G-Wes" Wesley
Kevin "Tygerstylez" Davis
The Professionals are an American hip-hop duo based out of Lakeland, Florida, a small city between Tampa and Orlando, Florida. The group's musical style is often referenced as a mixture of true East Coast hip-hop, with influences of Dirty South, Rock and Soul music. The duo consists of Florida natives Garrett "G-Wes" Wesley and Kevin "Tygerstylez" Davis. The group's music has been featured on MTV, as well as various music compilations and soundtracks.
The Beginning (2000)
G-Wes and Tygerstylez met in 2000 at Geico in Lakeland, Florida, where they both worked. G-Wes began making music using MTV's Music Generator and his Sony PlayStation 2 to make beats which allowed them to write in lieu of professional production. Originally dubbing themselves the "Ill Emcees", the duo later changed its name to The Professionals, citing the movie "The Professional" as a major influence in their music and personal style. The group was originally a trio until the third member, Rico, removed himself from the group and moved away. The group's earliest tracks were produced by Thomas Love with a simple beat machine in his garage. Their underground single "Just Gettin' Started" was written and produced in just over an hour and was well received in the local underground music scene.
Tired of the culture consistent with today's hip-hop/rap music (gaudy jewelry, extra-long t-shirts, guns, materialism, etc.) the group wanted to stand out from other acts. The group is heavily inspired by The Blues Brothers and the Redman's "Whateva Man" video which also draws from The Blues Brothers. G-Wes & Tygerstylez perform in black suits and ties with white dress shirts layered underneath. G-Wes typically wears a cap while Tygerstylez often wears a bandana and/or black gloves. Keeping true to their hip-hop roots while remaining comfortable on stage, the group complete their wardrobe with classic Adidas Superstar shelltoe shoes. Their look is referenced on their song "Black Suit".
While continuing their full-time jobs, the duo released an EP in 2004 titled "Dangerous", which was led by the single of the same name. Looking to upgrade their production, the album was produced by Rafael Torres of UP2U Music with contributions by G-Wes. The album was not sold, but distributed freely to labels, record executives, A&Rs and the general public. After releasing the EP, the group began writing more music with the purpose of releasing a full album. A mixtape track titled "Chaos", which featured instrumentals produced by The Neptunes and Wu-Tang Clan has been immensely popular and die-hard fans consider the track The Professionals' best work to date. The group continued to push "Dangerous" and managed to get their music featured on 93.3 FLZ and Wild 98.7, and while the music was well-received, the group did not receive the notoriety they were seeking.
In late 2007, there was speculation the group would disband and go their separate ways after keeping relatively quiet with no new music released in 2005 or 2006 and only one live performance. It was believed that G-Wes was looking to compose and perform new music whenever possible while Tygerstylez had a distinct direction on where the group should be headed. Fans of the group credit this supposed disagreement as the basis for the group's inactivity. G-Wes, always looking to expand and experiment musically, would later help form Project Reign, a rap/rock/metal band with friends Mike Barfield and Adam Klatka while continuing work on his Internet podcast, The Cousin Jay & Garrett Show with childhood friend Adam "Cousin Jay" Ward. Tygerstylez returned to his original love of mixed martial arts and participated in various contests in Florida. While they both headed in different directions, G-Wes and Tygerstylez were merely pursuing their other interests with full intention to returning to the group in 2008. G-Wes, in an interview in 2007 stated "with different priorities in my life and Kevin's (Davis), "The Professionals are on hiatus until we can both devote more time to the group."
The Return (2008)
After a break of nearly two years, The Professionals returned to making music in 2008. The year has indeed proven to be one of resurgence for the group as they have contributed music for various television shows, movies, and music compilations and soundtracks. The single Dangerous was featured during the fourth season of MTV's Making the Band. The group is also composing tracks for the upcoming movie "Stiletto".
Frustrated by the lack of music venues and musical gatherings in Polk County, Florida, the group, along with fellow local act Hierarchy, created the Central Florida Music Showcase. According to G-Wes, the showcase was created to "not just provide a way for hip-hop and urban acts to be seen, but to also provide an outlet for performers of all genres in Central Florida." The first show was held May 24, 2008 at the Theatre Winter Haven, becoming the first urban music act to ever be held at the historic theatrical venue. The nearly four-hour show, hosted by comedian Tony B., featured fellow local acts Hierarchy, Saiah, C.B., Twan D the Student, Deshun, and Yung Kelz.
The group is currently writing and soliciting tracks for their release scheduled in 2009 titled "The Definition"(unconfirmed title). The group plans to incorporate more melody and a host of different sounds into the new album by enlisting guitarist Mike Barfield and (unconfirmed) guest appearances by Twan D the Student, Deshun, Saiah and others. The rumored first single, "Black Suit", was previously leaked to music download sites such as Limewire and Morpheus but was later removed and has not been found for download since.
- 2004: Dangerous
- 2009: The Definition (unconfirmed title)
- 2003: Dangerous
- 2003: Dance All Night
- 2004: 5 Deadly Venoms (feat. S.K. & High Society)
- 2007: Bang Bang
- 2008: Black Suit
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