Based on a recent Sunday performance at Donato's Basement, emerging rapper tYmework, aka Jonathyn Arthurs, selected the ideal stage name, since the set underscored both the time and the work the musician has invested in his craft over the past 12-odd months.

Based on a recent Sunday performance at Donato's Basement, emerging rapper tYmework, aka Jonathyn Arthurs, selected the ideal stage name, since the set underscored both the time and the work the musician has invested in his craft over the past 12-odd months.

With his impressive beard and workmanlike wardrobe - the MC dressed in dark jeans, chunky boots and a black T-shirt - tYmework could have passed for a roadie on tour with Black Sabbath. Even so, some songs, particularly "Gunplay," which the musician described as some throwback "boom-bap stuff," harkened back to '90s-era hip-hoppers like Black Sheep.

Elsewhere, tYmework favored lush, luxuriant beats, often rhyming atop syncopated strings, dulcet saxophone tones and rich orchestral flourishes - soundscapes that offered a nice counterpoint to his bruiser's voice. Blessed with a deep, forceful tone, the rapper tended to lob words that hit with the impact of chunky cinderblocks, a pair of which graced the stage and served as budget soap boxes for his lyrical sermons.

In a short conversation prior to taking the stage, Arthurs, who previously logged time in the Dark and Bleak, a one-man, melodic death metal band that specialized in music every bit as foreboding as its chosen moniker, described his wide-ranging tastes (hip-hop, hard rock, country and so on), and the sense of exploration that led him to pursue a rap career a little more than a year ago.

Scattered throughout the set were phrases that played like a commentary on the musician's career switch. "From the notepad in which I confide/ I rebuild and revise a life," he huffed on "Harmonious Raingarden." Then, on another song, which originated as a collaboration with Chino XL (tYmework is scheduled to open a series of shows for the rapper later this month), the MC barked: "Failure is not an option."

This optimistic mindset pervaded even his bleakest rhymes. "Harmonious Raingarden," for one, included mentions of crooked cops ("Like a badge makes you better than some?"), corruption and poverty, yet centered on the idea of forward momentum. "Never stop having a purpose," he cautioned. In this current guise it appears that tYmework has found one.