Sometimes life can get in the way of a dream.

That was the case with Savannah native Robert Purvis, also known as rapper BIGGZ the INCREDIBLE.

After graduating from Beach High School in 1988, Purvis set off for Miami with a group of his friends to pursue their dream of becoming famous rap stars.

"We went down there chasing a record contract," Purvis said. "We didn't know anybody. Back then, Miami was one of the first cities in the South where you could make it as a rapper."

Purvis and his buddies had some luck and made enough money for basics like food and shelter.

"We thought we were going to make it," he said.

But after a year in Miami, the guys had to leave and Purvis returned home to Savannah where he soon got married and had four sons to support.

"That's why the big delay in my music career," he said. "Sometimes you have to let your dream go so your kids can have a dream."

Purvis said he buckled down and took care of his family.

But several years ago, he found himself divorced and going on disability for congestive heart failure. His sons were grown and on their new paths to their dreams, so he realized it was time to take another shot at his dream.

"I decided that instead of sitting around, I need to put my music out," he said.

"Surprisingly I put it out online and started getting some good feedback," he said of releasing his music on sites like ReverbNation, YouTube, iTunes and Amazon.

As he continued writing and recording music, people started to notice his talent, and last year he won an award from Hip Hop Junkie Radio Show for his single "Aye Yo" and the group also nominated him for Album of the Year and Most Underrated Artist. They came down for a week to follow Purvis on his music mission.

"That convinced me that I got something," he said.

He continued to focus on writing and recording music and decided it was time to once again pursue his dream - only this time he had the gift of maturity to make smarter business choices and maintain a strong work ethic.

In 2012, Purvis launched his First Family Entertainment productions and began working on his album "Sea Port Icon," which dropped at the beginning of this year.

"First Family Entertainment is about bringing back morals to rap music," Purvis said. "It's about having a conscience of what I rap about. I don't belittle women, I don't rap about drugs or killing.

"Now I do like to party and I rap about that, too, but my music has a strong message."

Trying to bring a moral conscience into rap music is a product of Purvis' upbringing. He said his mother, Janice Purvis, is always trying to get him to bring people to church through his music.

He laughed a little about her sentiment, but added "I love her."

He also said his father, the late Albert Purvis, made a positive impact on his life about what it means to be a real man.

"He's been gone 20 years now, but without him I wouldn't be the person I am today," Purvis said. "He taught me about morals and what's important in life."

"Sea Port Icon" has 16 tracks and the overall theme represents his past.

"It's about my life and what I went through and what I had to give up to get to where I am now."

While sales of the album have been hard to calculate, Purvis said he's hit 400,000 views on YouTube and people on the street are beginning to recognize him.

"I passed out a bunch of CDs in Hinesville and then I went back and people were like, 'Hey BIGGZ! Let me get an autograph!' They didn't know I was a local guy."

But he said his maturity has taught him a lot about the music business, and he has advice for young men wanting to become rap stars.

"One thing I say is realize it's a business," he explained. "Don't get caught up in stargazing cause those stars are just a product, too.

"And do not give your talent so much credit. Don't think they are going to pick you up because of your talent. They are going to pick you up for hard work, not talent.

"That is why you see less talented people get picked up before talented people - because they work hard.

"You have to research and implement," he added. "Researching is no good if you don't do anything with it.

"Some people know what to do and think they can short cut it, but it doesn't work. You have to follow the rules.

"You have to get yourself properly recorded and then you have to get it copyrighted, and then you gotta get it published and then encrypted and then you'll have something."

He admitted he had to learn the hard way about what it takes to be successful.

"For years, I thought I was so talented, but once I put my ducks in order then it didn't take long."

Purvis said his overall goal is to be "one of the biggest artists there is."

"Who does something to be second rate?" he added. "I want to be successful because I want to help the people I love - my kids, my mother.

"I feel like the lord blessed me because I buckled down and did the right thing," he said. "I'm still good for my age, my voice is still good and I don't look too old either," he laughed.

BIGGZ the INCREDIBLE's nine-city tour kicked off March 15 in Hinesville and will end in Savannah this summer.

"We plan to touch down in Savannah in the mid-part of summer," he said. "We are still not sure of a venue - I want to make sure it's the right spot."