Finsta Interview
Monday February 05th 2007,
Filed under: Features,Interviews,Steady Bootleggin'
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Here’s an interview sent in by Pawel Kumiszcze, which was first published in a Polish magazine late last year:

Finsta is who you might call a hip hop veteran. The Bushwick born MC & producer has been creating music for over 15 years always staying true to himself. It’s a little known fact that he made his first steps as an original member of Black Moon but his formal introduction to the world happened a couple of years later when
he emerged on the scene as a solo artist with “Finsta Baby”. The solo act status didn’t last long. Soon Finsta joined forces with Bundy and together they made a name for themselves releasing quite a few singles and performing all over the globe during the 90’s. Unfortunately, one thing they haven’t managed to accomplish is an album. The good news is that Finsta Bundy is still in effect so who knows, maybe they will let us feel the high once more.

Pawel: How did you get into music and what led you into Hip Hop?

Finsta: I was always in band classes since junior high school and growing up, there was always music in the house. My moms had some dope 8 track tapes like The Drifters and Gladys Knight & The Pips. As far as hip hop, I would hear joints at block parties like Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, Busy Bee, Treacherous Three, plus there were cats in Bushwick that would be rocking the mic with the DJ. I officially got into hip hop when I met Evil Dee in high school. Before that I was playing the sax, singing on my church choir, and trying to make gospel songs.

Since you mentioned Evil Dee, how important was his role in your career? I remember reading an interview where he said he got you a deal.

Evil helped me get my first solo deal, after I left Black Moon, with a label called CRACD Records. It was a label owned by an old school MC called Gucci Man and his partner Chuck. At the time it was just me. Evil co-produced my single “Finsta Baby” which was actually the first Beatminerz release. Outside of that the only role he played was as a friend. Black Moon had came out afterwards so I pretty much had to learn the ins & outs of the business by myself.

So you were actually a part of Black Moon?

Yeah, I was actually an original member. We started out as High Tech (which was actually the name of a store that sold clothes in the hood) before we changed the name to Black Moon.

At one moment you were in Black Moon and then suddenly you were a part of Finsta Bundy. How did that happen?

I left Black Moon when my daughter was being born and later on went solo. I knew Bundy from around the way. He had a set and was actually a dope DJ and was ill with tricks on the set so he became my DJ, he was writing rhymes then as well. We did a show in North Carolina around ’93 and Bundy came from behind the set and rocked rhymes with me on stage. From then on we became Finsta & Bundy. A little while later we dropped the “&” and made it Finsta Bundy.

I want to talk about the Black Moon situation for a while. I don’t know if you’re aware of it but there’s a story floating around that Buck didn’t want you in the crew because you got more recognition at that time and he told you to leave.

I was never asked to leave by anyone. Truth be told, when the demos were being shopped Buck got more recognition and I was told I needed to rhyme more. Still, at that time the group wasn’t making as many moves, so with my daughter being born I had to leave and get a job.

How would you describe your relations with Buckshot?

Me and Buck are cool. I still call him every now and then.

I’m still wondering about one thing. You returned in 91 with “Finsta Baby”. Black Moon still didn’t have a deal – that happened in 92. So theoretically you could join the group again or not?

“Finsta Baby” actually dropped in ’92 and by then it was already established that they were the group and I was a solo act. There was no problem though because we were all cool with each other.

The time went on and Black Moon became one of the most known and respected groups. What I’m trying to understand is why there’s no connection between you and Black Moon although you were once a part of the group. You can only hear it from some ear-to-ear whispers. Now that you say you were all cool, I don’t doubt that but on the other hand I don’t get why for example weren’t you featured at least on one of their tracks. It wouldn’t be a big thing for them and you could get some more attention.

I hear what you’re saying. I can’t say why I didn’t get a cameo on any Black Moon joints. We were cool but I guess we were travelling on different roads then. I’m kinda cool with not being on a BM joint because it puts me & Bundy in our own position. As far as reaching a wider audience, I would say without big commercial success, videos or cameos, we’ve been able to reach just as many people and places. Who would’ve thought I’d be getting interviewed by someone in another country? I wouldn’t have seen it coming. It’s been 14 years and I’m still making music, independently, I guess we were doing something right.

Ok. Let’s get back to Finsta Bundy. Dropping the “&” from the name had it consequences. I’ve noticed people taking you for one MC or coming up with some other funny theories.

It was funny. People would call me Finsta Bundy like Bundy was my last name. I think it was because I was pretty much the only one people would see at parties and events. Bundy wasn’t much of a party-goer so people rarely saw us together. I remembered somebody joked and said I was pulling a Humpty Hump (since Shock G was Humpty) and trying to get two checks.

Over the years you’ve released many twelve inch but never an album. If you look back at those times, has there ever been a chance to release one?

Around ’98 we started recording an album at D&D studios with Da Beatminerz but it was never completed. The people putting out the record claimed they couldn’t afford to finish it.

Are you talking about the people at D&D or from some other label?

Bundy & I were making records with Tape Kingz at the time, formerly called Big Willie Records. They were cats out of London that pretty much put out all the Finsta Bundy records.

Yeah, I remember now. They put out some interesting stuff besides your records from the likes of Ron G, Mr Cee, Shadez of Brooklyn. How did you hook up with them in the first place?

If I’m not mistaken, I met them by chance while I was working in a record shop downtown Brooklyn. I already had “Finsta Baby” out and they heard of it. From then, one of the main cats came from London and met up with me and Bundy in Bushwick.

What happened with the recorded material at D&D?

It pretty much went unheard outside of the few joints I leaked on the web. I think it was a joint called “Cactus” and another title I forgot. We got the reels from the session so there might be a chance for you or fans of FB to hear some of the songs in the future.

That’s good some good news. I wanted to ask you about this crew Dysfunkshunal Familee. What was your connection with them?

Dysfunkshunal Familee were cats from the same hood we would vibe and make joints with. Actually, our DJ Primetime used to be their DJ.

DJ Primetime – that name does ring a bell. Didn’t you release a mixtape with him? It included some of your previously released tracks.

Yeah, we had a mixtape that was out and we basically took it with us to sell in Germany & Japan. The tape had songs we released on 12″, some freestyles and demos.

There’s this EP from 97 “Bazzaro Presents…”. How did that come about?

Bazarro was part of Dysfunkshunal Familee so doing joints with them was just a matter of walking a few blocks and throwing down a session.

That’s why I asked about them. By the way Bazarro sent me Dysfunkshunal Familee’s demo album and it features a track called “Feeling Da Highs”. It seems like you were an inspiration to them.

We were always hanging with DF, so a lot of times we would vibe off each other. Whether they would list us as an inspiration? You would have to ask them.

Other than that Bazzaro EP you made few guest appearances like on a 12” with Lady Apache.

The Lady Apache joint came about because she was on Nervous and Evil was doing the remix. He asked us to get on it and we jumped on it. With DJ Krush, it was through Ken “Duro” Ifill that we were connected. Krush asked about us and since Duro knew Evil we were able to connect.

I recall also a single with Da Germ featuring you and Lin Que.

Yeah, that joint was called “It’s Useless”. Germ is crazy. He used to have me hooked on a computer game, it was one of those building a city type of games.

Sim City? Anyway, have you met him recently? I know that during those days we speak of he was travelling back and forth between Germany and the States.

It was before Sim City, but anyway, I haven’t seen him in awhile.

One more I want to ask you about is “War & Position” with EZD.

EZD was a cat who worked at D&D studio. Mr. Walt did the beat. It was released but I don’t know where or how many pieces sold.

What was going on with you after 98. Did you take a break from music?

I didn’t really take a break. At the time I was doing Neva Say Neva Wednesdays/Beatminerz Radio on 88hiphop.com. I was doing parties in NY as well as DJ gigs with Evil. Around ’99 I was out in Germany with my boy Harvey Dent aka Anon and I recorded a few unreleased joints out there. In one way or another I was still doing music.

More unreleased tracks? Damn, you were haunted by bad luck. Was there a time that you had enough and wanted to call it quits?

I actually wanted to stop rhyming and become more of a producer. I make beats so music is always part of me so I don’t think about giving up because I feel I haven’t even begun to make the music I can make.

When did you start producing?

I started out producing, making music and around ’89 I started rhyming. I produced most of the FB singles.

I’m curious who’s idea, yours or Evil Dee’s, was it to use that sample from Donovan – Get Thy Bearings on “Crush”? The outcome is great.

That was a beat Evil gave me. I always liked that track so when he let me hear it I had to drop something to it.

After many years of recording together there was no Bundy on this 2001 single…

It was just a single project Evil and I worked on as a part of establishing Pandemonium Wreckordz which is Evil’s company.

What’s the current status of the group?

The group is still together. Our schedules have been getting in the way of us recording regularly, but we are still doing joints.

Let’s talk about the near future. You’re working on your solo LP. Tell me about that.

I have an album that’s actually done called “AFC3 (a finsta creation)”. It’s a mix of music. I originally planned to have other mcs on it but with time on my hands I just wrote and recorded joints. I got a joint called “My Pen, My Pad, My Microphone”, a dedication to all three. There’s a joint called “Smelly Feet”, which is on my myspace page. I’ll just say you would have to listen to the whole thing to understand it.

Considering that people get used to a certain artists sound, what reaction do you predict from your fans?

When we came in the game, we were just learning. I think my sound has grown so in a lot of ways it’s not the same sound beatwise. I think anyone who hears the “AFC3″ album will bugout. All I suggest is when they get it, they listen to it straight through to understand the flow.

How do you want to put it out?

My thoughts were to release it independently myself as soon as I can or hopefully find a company willing to put it out.

I know you spin at a club. What does Finsta play to bring all the ladies to the floor?

It depends on the crowd. Where I spin at now, the crowd varies. I play everything, hip hop, reggae, r&b, house, rock, 80’s, and classics. I basically try to read the crowd to see what they’re feeling more. One song that get ladies partying is “Groove is in the Heart” by Dee-Lite.

What was your best DJ’ing experience?

One of the best experience was when a female came behind the dj set and flashed her boobs. I saw her from the corner of my eye but didn’t get the full view. I asked her to do it again and she did, then she put my hands on them. That was the only time something like that happened to me.

[laughing] I’m not going to inquire how it ended up. Worst?

My worst DJ’ing experience was when I had to do a house party with one turntable.

What are the most crucial things you’ve learned about the music & the industry?

One of the most crucial things I’ve learned is to make the music I feel and don’t worry about what’s hot at the time. When you try to make hits you can be influenced by what people think is good and most times it’s the record companies and radio stations force feeding the public. I try to stay true to myself and make music people can feel. I’ll admit that the business aspect is important but most important to me is creating from the soul and not for the dollar. After that, make sure your business is straight because people will use you for their gain. Oh, and being independent is not so bad.

What are your best memories from putting out music as Finsta Bundy?

Travelling and being able to perform in different countries. One of the craziest things is getting an email from a japanese female with a picture of her holding all of our singles. She said she didn’t really understand some of it but when she heard the music it made her feel good. I couldn’t believe it, I felt appreciated.

So where have you performed already?

Japan, Germany, Switzerland, France, Canada, New Zealand, and parts of US. A lot of the other countries we’ve been to more than once. I’d like to add Poland to that list.

If you had to move which country out of those would you choose ? Where did you feel like at home?

I would choose New Zealand. It was cool down there. The people were cool, the food was healthy, and the music had culture. You wouldn’t here too much commercial joints unless it was a native artist, all I heard was hot undergound joints and the radiio stations playerd all kinds of music. The mountains, the beaches, and scenery were tranquillizing (am I sounding like a travel agent yet?) That would be my retiring spot.

Finsta @ Myspace

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Finsta - Finsta Baby [courtesy of Bbatson Shazam]

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Finsta Bundy - Feel The High

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Finsta Bundy - Sunnyside

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Finsta Bundy - Don’t Stress Tomorrow

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Finsta Bundy - Feel The High Pt. 2

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42 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Thanks for this article!!! I had Finsta Bundy all over my Stretch and Bobbito tapes in the early-mid 90’s. I never knew much about them, but loved their tracks immensely. Peace to both of them and thanks again.

Comment by ChrisMaestro 02.05.07 @

“Don’t Stress Tomorrow” link is broken. Should be:

http://www.unkut.com/audio_hq/finsta_stress.mp3

Underscore instead of dash. I’ve been looking for that for a while now. Brings back memories. Thanks.

Comment by bedouin 02.05.07 @

Dunno why it ripped the under score out of my last post. But you get the picture.

Comment by bedouin 02.05.07 @

I miss Finsta & Bundy singles like I miss Natural Elements singles. Hey atleast I can still walk it out while i snap my fingers and rock a white tee. Sorry, i had the radio on. Yeaaaaaaa. MIAMI STAND UP!!!!!!!

Comment by DFMALO 02.05.07 @

“Don’t Stress Tomorrow” fixed.

Comment by Robbie 02.05.07 @

“feel the high pt.2″ has always been one of my favorite beatminers tracks. i’m lovin how primo flipped some finsta’s verses for sauce money’s “against the grain”. “We keep your mental lit…!” indeed.

Comment by szA 02.05.07 @

I miss Finsta and Bundy too. that sunny side 12″ is classic to me.

Comment by Cruds 02.05.07 @

very interesting.
i always wondered bout the connection
to black moon/boot camp.
besides the production style you could
tell by the flow that they come from
the same corner. finsta bundy got
mad tracks. sunnyside is a classic
for real. gave me goosebumps.

Comment by swordfish 02.05.07 @

On a tangent, EZD is now a janitor in a building my friend lives in in New York. He got talking to him and the guy said he rapped, my boy asked him his name and he said you won’t have heard of me. Obviously he had. EZD was pretty delighted that British guys had rocked to War & Position. He gave him a couple of copies of an indie 12″ that sampled the Cheers theme tune that he did as well. it was dope.

Comment by Drewhuge 02.06.07 @

Dope interview Robbie.
I gotta check out the Finsta MySpace…keen to hear what duke sounds like now.

Feel The High pt 2 is my shit

Comment by AFFEX 02.06.07 @

“do you hear what I hear?”

“Don’t Stress Tomorrow” was hot.

Comment by P-Matik 02.06.07 @

My boy Art R.I.P loved blackmoon, I know he woulda liked ya more, to bad he’s not more known out in cali! i’ll spread tha word! Peace!
brewknow
dfs, cmf, rwc, n,cali!

Comment by brewknow 02.06.07 @

Dope Interview and I am pleased to say that I still own the Finsta Bundy 12″s, the first time I heard Finsta Baby on a mixtape in 1992, made me go oh shit these kids have got something here…

Finsta is without a veteran…and I think it’s ill how he travels the country and the time he spent in New Zealand a while back.

Comment by Jaz 02.07.07 @

Finsta..need 2 re-relees CRUSH..classic!

Comment by Nucca 02.07.07 @

Dope interview, Robbie. I still rock to my white label copy of Boogie Spirit/Bizm. Sunnyside and Feel The High Pts. 1 & 2 were the joint!

One.

Comment by Dart Adams 02.07.07 @

sick interview and tracks, i hadn’t even heard of finsta, and being such a big black moon fan, thats just ridiculous, sounds like the epitome of really good mid 90’s east coast hip hop, plus i am a pretty big buckshot fan, but i have to say that this cat spits even better than buckshot to me, he even sounds better, so i can see how fans may have created fictional beef, but then again, i think old buckshot sounds better than new buckshot anyways, good lookin’ out on droppin science on some hip hop history and some new tracks to nod my head to

Comment by gstatty 02.07.07 @

finsta bundy were slept on way too hard…

here’s a link to a compilation i made of their shit, shit is essential.

http://rapidshare.com/files/13538802/FBATH1.rar.html

http://rapidshare.com/files/13538802/FBATH1.rar.html

Comment by Dred 02.07.07 @

fuckin 2nd link didn’t come up the first time i tried to paste so here it is…

http://www.sendspace.com/file/8soner

Comment by Dred 02.07.07 @

Who am I? I’m Not Sure anymore.
can u post that

Comment by MERCILESZ 02.08.07 @

anyone got these tracks in mac friendly fileshare? I have the 12’s in storage but would love to rock em on my pod. cheers

Comment by jbeez 02.09.07 @

^ Just “Save As…” on the red song titles and you’ll be good to go.

Comment by Robbie 02.11.07 @

can someone throw up the song “crush” that samples Donovan?

Comment by The Average Man 02.11.07 @

Yo Dred!

Thanks for putting up the 2 comps but you should’ve stuck with your Zshare steeze like on busthefacts rather than use paedoshare!

Comment by The Average Man 02.11.07 @

i somone will hookme up with a nn rapidshare link (megupload) ill post up the boogie spirit 12″ anad the shadez of brooklyn shiz I have.

jbeez

Comment by jbeez 02.13.07 @

damn thse tracks are raw.

Comment by joe 03.07.07 @

Wow!! I didn’t know about this interview…Great interview and good questions…My name is Bazarro, producer and dj for the old Dysfunkshunal Familee group, also was the dj for Jean Grae…This interview brought back memories…Probably the best times of my life was just making music with Dysfunkshunal & Finsta Bundy…We would be up all night sometimes smoking a blunt, writing rhymes, making beats, playing NBA Live 95 like it was out of style…..I would do anything to go back to dem days….We’ll I have a lot of new projects I’m working on…Finsta is working on a solo album and I’m working on a solo comedy album that Evil Dee will produce….You can download my Krazy Mixtape with this link….

http://www.sendspace.com/file/25i8ia

and check me out @ myspace.com/djbazarro

and to hear and download Dysfunkshunal Fam & Finsta Bundy collabos..

myspace.com/dysfunkshunalfamilee

Comment by Crazy Dj Bazarro 03.14.07 @

Here’s some un-released Dysfunkshunal joints

http://www.sendspace.com/file/p6usi2

Comment by sess 07.25.07 @

fantastic interview!!!!!!!!
somebody can upload neva say neva?
:(

Comment by C Agent 07.28.07 @

Man I got that Mixed Emotions right here…Plus photos, session with Bobbito & Lord Sear,, un-heard demos…..Bazarro is a beast on the boards…I got most of his stuff while hanging around the Bushwick Coalition….Finsta Bundy.. Shades of Brookln,,, Arsonist ,,

he might be mad for this but…enjoy…it’s worth the download….mad joints..

http://www.sendspace.com/file/tlp8px

xxx Bushwick Finest

Comment by Bushwick Finest 09.25.07 @

Oh man, can somebody reup all the shit that was posted all those months ago (megaupload or something, rapid and sendspace don’t last too long)? I’m a big Black Moon/Finsta Bundy/Dysfunkshunal Familee fan.

Comment by dragondude_r 12.03.07 @

pleaseeeee re up the krazy mixtape bazarro!!!!
pleaseeee

Comment by azhe oner 03.09.08 @

DredScott’s Finsta comp:

http://www.megaupload.com/?d=4SVXLRSB

Comment by Robbie 03.09.08 @


Crazy shame how a group like Finsta Bundy never got to release a single album, yet we’re here in ’08 still talking about their impact. Hard not to think of Natural Elements here. Thanks for prying into the deal with him and Black Moon. lol. Could tell he wanted to leave that shit be but your persistence got him talking… and this new album he spoke of… so where is it?

Comment by Ho1ogramz 10.28.08 @

holy shit we need a unreleased Finsta album please!!!! Natural E too…2 of the greatest 2, if not greatest groups to come out of that ever. Everything they dropped was incredible.

Comment by 357 NYC 01.18.09 @

interviewer is a d***k.

”More unreleased tracks? Damn, you were haunted by bad luck. Was there a time that you had enough and wanted to call it quits?”

finsta is a legend and his music is felt by true heads all across the universe, how is that being haunted by bad luck.

Comment by aresti cat 05.08.09 @

daaam, the crazy dj bazarro commenting on these pages- ya’ll need to give him his own interview on unkut. that dudes tapes were the epitome of hip hop.

Comment by arrrch 05.14.09 @

finsta bundy fornever.

Comment by arrrch 05.14.09 @

I just took a trip down memory lane. Big up to Unkut and everybody posting comments. I spoke on an album called “AFC3″ coming out but I actually have a different album coming first. It’s called “WaltGJr” and has production from myself, Evil Dee, BrooklynBeatWorks, Jay Large plus some FB joints. We’re in the mixing stages so now when I say coming soon, it means real soon.

Also, Bundy and I have been recording and you can definitely expect some more of that Bomb Sh*!.

Peace
Finsta

Comment by Finsta 08.25.09 @

where the fuck iz your AFC3 finsta?!
where can we cop that shit ?!

Comment by treezufgreen 10.08.09 @

Was Finsta-“Crush” a diss to Buckshot?

Comment by Jaz 03.06.10 @



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