Filed under: Bronx Bombers,Features,Great Moments In Rap,Is It Live Or Is It Memorex?,Rap Veterans,Stan Status
Written by: Robbie Ettelson
Turns out not all free rap show’s suck. The other night Lord Finesse blessed us with an encore performance that was nothing short of unfuckwittable. Figuring that the Funkyman would do a quick 15 minutes set and maybe spin some records and bounce, it turned out that he delivered an hour of lyrical gems – and then jumped on the decks for another two! Following DJ Boogie Blind’s valiant but largely failed attempt to spark a breaking session, Finesse ambled onto the stage and proceeded to school all those in attendance as to how to rap. Unleashing his formidable catalog of punchline anthems without the need for a hypeman or weed carrier, L.F. also proceeded to snap on the crowd (“Why you wanna film my shoes and shit? Are you Peter Parker or something, working for the Feds?”), son new-jacks (“I’m a grown man. How am I gonna start wearing tight pants and crying over some girl?”) and crack jokes with his DJ (“Oh now she’s blowing kisses at you? Make your mind up, girl!”).
What more could you ask for in a show than dope rhymes, classic beats and wise-cracks? As was only right, I proceeded to post-up at the front of the stage and activate my seldom-used ‘#1 fan’ mode, which basically involves me rapping along to every word and yelling out “Chea!” where appropriate. As to those beside me who were acting like they had a case of Beatlemania? Get your minds right. There’s a fine-line between being a fan and a cot-damned groupie… dedications to Big L and GURU (turns out Keithy EE had told Stu Fine at Wild Pitch to give Finesse a deal after hearing his demo) were kept short and on-point, as was a fitting display of turntable skills as Finesse and Boogie launched into a cutting session in memory of the late, great Roc Raida. Another interesting announcement was Finesse declaring that he had three albums due this year – one of them being the long-delayed Funky Technician Remix Project and an other with a group called The Alumni, which is him, O.C. and Large Professor. Say word?
Perhaps the highlight of the night was when Finesse explained the importance of sticking to your guns, as he explained why he never succumbed to industry pressure to change his style and make a Down South record or anything outside of his comfort zone. And why should he? His first two albums are timeless blueprints of the art of Punchline Rap, which laid the foundation for everyone from Big L onwards to build from. With no need to start dancing or play the harmonica, Lord Finesse proved once again that even the legendary Doug E. Fresh can’t hold a candle to one of the true all-rounders of the hip-hop world. Praise the Lord, indeed.
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