February 11, 2016

Lord Finesse "The Awakening" (The Source, 2/96)


"Lord Finesse has been an underground force representing the Boogie Down since his '89 debut, Funky Technician. Back in the day, Finesse shined by using funky drummer beats and a steady rhyme flow that was second only to Kane's in its successful reliance on clever similes and metaphoric wordplay. More recently, Finesse has maintained by producing tracks for Big L, Fat Joe and Biggie Smalls. The Awakening features a posse of NYC All-Stars lending a hand as this Old School hero attempts to stand with the lyrical lords of today. Finesse's strong suit has always been his production skills and on The Awakening, the beats more than hold their own against the work of the hot producers of the moment. All the tracks sport that classic East Coast flavor; heavy on the drum kick, perfectly suited to an MC getting his flow on." Peep the lead single, cont'd below...


"On "Time To Bounce" and "Hip 2 Da Game," Finesse definitely scores lyrical points, but his steelo can't altogether escape its dated feel. The best of his solo cuts is "Food For Thought," a cautionary tale that displays his strong storytelling skill. The EP's high point is "Brainstorm," a joint completely scorched by the vocal heat whipped up to O.C., KRS and Finesse... Finesse deserves much love and respect for staying tight all these years while so many others have fallen off. And there is no doubt that the ranks among the higher echelons of butta beat-crafters, as evidenced by his excellent work on homie Big L's debut release. But in comparison with their punch-line oriented usage of simile and metaphor, simply don't possess enough dimension to sustain a solo release. Still in all, The Awakening is a welcome joint from a man who has long personified hip-hop's favorite mantra: "True to the game." You can check out the full review, and more, below...


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