“I’m skilled at it, I’m Illmatic, so “yes” answers your question if you ask me do I still have it.”
Longevity and respect; two words, of many, that are properly assigned when mentioning Lord Finesse. Respecting the essence, respecting the culture, and most importantly respecting yourself in this bitter-sweet game we call hip-hop are some notes we can take from the Under Boss. There’s really no arguing that he’s been remaining true to his craft since day one. Before getting into his latest successes with the promising SP 1200 Project releases we wanted to take you on a brief journey through the world of Lord Finesse, highlighting some key elements for you new jacks and ultimately displaying what a true artist looks like in 2015.
As him and Dj Mike Smooth‘s Funky Technician approaches its 25th anniversary, we can safely say it’s one of many landmarks he left in hip-hop. To avoid this seeming like another drawn out album review, we will keep it brief and save you the hassle. This record introduced us to his clever metaphors and seemingly-effortless wordplay, prior to him stepping to machinery and shocking the world on the production side. Only a couple years later would he return with “Return of the Funky Man”, addressing the allegations that he fell off, and even dead at one point. This 1992 “return” would be his premiere on the boards as well, which in retrospect would more or less be the all-in point for carving himself as of one of hip-hop’s top tier producers.
Some by-passers may throw him in a box for having the freshest similes and metaphors and leave on that note – but no. The wordplay, the ability to jump on any groove and sail it naturally, and confidence in his delivery since the beginning are all qualities with equal impact. Remember the classic ’89 battle with Percee P? Enough said. Many artists have maintained some sort of charisma over the years, but more than half of the time it seems to be a gimmick that becomes forgotten. His charisma as a recording artist, and off the mic, is evidently natural. Once again, new jacks, please take note of these qualities while we still have you tuned in.
The Diggin’ In The Crates crew is a topic we could talk about for days, but right now we will call your attention solely to Finesse’s chemistry with his DITC family. Was this because he was so close with the mostly Bronx-bred crew? Or was this because he can adapt to working with any dope artist doing it? Perhaps the answer is both. Outside of the clique Finesse has done records with some of hip-hop’s most renowned acts. Biggie‘s 1994 classic “Suicidal Thoughts” come’s to mind.
In a sit down with Fuse’s Crate Diggers series he not only blessed us with some back stories on working with Big, but he mentioned something shortly after that stood out to us above all, which again attests to his level of respect as an artist:
As a producer I don’t want to just sell you a beat to make a dollar. I’m going to make sure you pick something and do something incredible with it.
Fast forwarding to the present we can now discuss Lord Finesse’s recent success. The SP1200 Project was released in August 2014, but due to its heavy acclaim and potency the world needed more. Only a handful of months later he returns with The SP1200 Project: A Re-Awakening to keep us real hip-hop junkies fed – loaded with an additional eight tracks. There’s no doubt that this one is for all you beat junkies out there. The project is basically a must-have for those who’ve been itching and scratching for that staple Funky Man sound, with the help of Bossmen/Slice of Spice Records‘ perfection on the scene. He is seemingly back with no sign of stopping. We’ve attached a nice video clip below from the project which provides with just enough snippets to get you on board. Still not on board? Well, we don’t know what to tell you. Be sure to grab this release here at iTunes, UGHH or Slice of Spice.
With all that being said, we hope this inclines you to open your eyes and gather what a true artist looks like. Lord Finesse has been keeping it humble for a long time, never “selling out” from any angle, and markedly remaining passionate for this culture – that us real hip-hop heads genuinely have a desire to keep alive. What do you perceive as relevant longevity? Peace and love.
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