Category Archives: Lord Finesse

“Punched in the Windpipe” The Lord Finesse story.

Real heads had this off  Westwood back in the Denzils, but i ain’t never seen footage!!, Love the energy as people hear the punchlines for the first time..Finesse is clunky, but who really out there does it better..

Lordz of the Underground didn’t know who they were fuckin’ with, with that “yes, Mr funky-man”, those fellas better cut it out.

Lord Finesse – ‘Isn’t he somethin’…

What’s when you’re only into rap to get paid?
What’s when your career is numbered by days?

The word contradiction springs to mind Bobby.

He is undoubtedly one of the greatest lyricists to EVER bless a microphone, casual, funny, terrifying, he followed a beat perfectly with such a distinctive tone and tore opponents new buttholes with the battle rhymes, but…

As someone that grew up with the piano based tinklings of Oscar Peterson around the house, I for one cant help thinking that if he paid his per to the Peterson estate he’ll be fine, but if he didnt clear the rights, the bop of ‘Dream of You’ might just come and bite him on the arse, money.

For years now, it has been reasonably simple to circumnavigate creative licensing, publishing and sample clearance by using four of our favourite words ‘For Promotional use only’. Its that straight forward. If there is no profit of it, you can make what you want with whomevers music you want. If Hip-Hop is our language, jackin for beats is our dialect. Fundamentally, what Finesse has done is single-handedly highlight his personal dissatisfaction with one single artist boostin’ his material, and it may be a game-changer within the industry. Essentially it narrows down the possibilities for everyone, without question, regardless of whether Mac Miller is a pop artist or a Rapper [nb. Rap is pop in 2012 within the main-scream]. Regardless of what the outcome of this case is, a problem has been highlighted, and sadly the legislative vultures will jump on it, cos there’s a penny to me made.

Finesse is claiming the infringement is “part of a strategy to build a fan base.” These are the specific words that could change the way the music industry had up until now, turned a blind eye to the freedom of distributing mixtapes and free music.

If a new MC comes along now, because they make great music that utilises elements of older Rap, even though overall it has a new sound that features an exciting and progressive form of rhyming, even if it is free, the consumer wont be able to listen to it. Artists will not be able to promote their music gratis any longer, unfortunately, thats the nail that Finesse and his teams are hammering home whether anyone likes it not. The problem is that even though its free, according to his vultures, it allegedly “builds a fan base that paves the way for revenue streams: touring, merchandise, even record deals”, fair enough, I hear that. To me its less about the paradox, because there is a wider picture, it buoys and sustains and even reintroduces the careers of those either forgotten or unknown to millions of punters [like the P.U.T.S. situation]. I for one would NOT be happy if I was unaware of artists like Bob James/ Steely Dan and an indescribable plethora of musicians that have been sampled by Hip-Hop producers because artists from my era ‘utilised elements’ of someone elses music.

Contextualise that and youll realise that in, maybe a years time eg, that carefree attitude of buying/ downloading a free mixtape wont actually exist. To any one of us that makes music for more than just a passion or hobby, imagine you wanted to gain notoriety and market your brand by doin a free mixtape. You were doing great, thousands of hits, then even more, you found your name in places youd never expected; high-end media and every music mag and website youd heard of. Then the suits came in and said, hold up you used this, pay me, and you used this, pay me, ‘But sir, I didnt sell my music, I gave it out for free’… Say youd been touring off the back of the marketing, youd been on the road, dj’ing and performing worldwide, exhausted and detached from family for months at a time. Then after a year of endless headaches and poor health caused by fiscal freefall, you had to pay out thousands and THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of dollars, even though you hadnt had any physical sales from that actual tape. Then EVERY SINGLE PENNY was retrieved from your tour-based coffers, and you were back to square one, po’ broke & lonely.

People like Finesse and dozens of other producers have jacked others music for years, its part of our musical landscape, its what Hip-hop is based around, and I for one am proud of our collective ingenuity, but all of a sudden its not okay to jack a beat cos the legal eagles and getting paid is more important than cultural nobility?

“I’m out to get bigger, lounge and make rich figures”, at least he sticks to his words…

Finesse just made a big mistake IMO. He jacked an Oscar Peterson riff, so he’s okay with taking Oscar, but not okay with Mac taking his interpretation of Oscar? Erm. I smell doody.

Its a sin that so so many Rap artists missed out on profiting off their talent from the days of way-back, way back in the days, but as it has been documented so many times in the past, they didnt have the business acumen, and they got jerked themselves. Perpetuating the problem will not offer a solution, it might get Lord Finesse a fat cheque but is it something positive for the listeners? Its frustrating that the Funkyman cant see how the inconsistency of his sampling ways make him look buckfoolish.

Paying dues is one thing, paying an artist for their talent is a completely different situation. Greed has never been an attractive trait and I will no longer pay for any material by Lord Finesse due to his myopic ways. Yes, im an ardent cunt like that, I have no time for petty-minds and I for one will continue to enjoy the back catalogue from Finesse, and vote with my pocket.

I now consider him a great DJ, a legendary producer and sadly, a disposable hero of hipocrisy.

The pair of them could come to an out of court agreement, a pay per view rhyme off, instead of hatin they could do it the old fashioned way and ‘battle for some loot’. I know who I’d put my money on…

‘Me take a loss, that shit dont even sound right’…

Lord Finesse & K-Def [WFMU Mixes] – October 2011

Lord Finesse WFMU Mix

K-Def WFMU Mix

Noah Uman is not only a Hip-Hop historian, not only has he written liner notes for re-issue releases on Nature Sounds and Traffic Entertainment, he is the co-producer of the 2005 Run DMC re-issues and the presenter of the long running ‘Coffee Break For Heroes and Villains’ show on New Jersey free-form radio station WFMU.

I’d heard of WFMU years ago but didnt pay enough attention until I was finding myself proto-hacking it in order to record each of the Steinski Rough-Mix shows in 2007 [as they were broadcast and as I slept in my bed]. There was of course the beatbox themed special presented by Lewis Recording artist Edan back in 2002, but Noah himself has hosted shows with many noted Hip-Hop luminaries; Primo, Janette Beckman, Will C, Rack-Lo, 45 King and many many others.

He is taking some sort of time out from the show to move cross country but as a parting acknowledgement for his work, Hip-Hop super-producer K-Def and Diggin In The Crates legend Lord Finesse joined him in the studio for a bit of a send-off. The results are an enlightening look at battling in 2011, in typical good natured grown-folk fashion. They attempt to out do each other behind the Serato laden turntables, and even if these turntables are using decoded vinyl, it seems that the Funky Technician feels that it is important to keep up with technology, eff Paypal, it’s all about Squareup he informs, keep up !

It’s funny to hear Noah describing K-Def and Finesse ‘talking in code’ after the discussion [or lack of] regarding their breaks and who the performers are, Finesse claiming that Noah sounds ‘like a cop’ when he asks, ‘Can you name any of these records?’. The banter in the interviews is jokes too, but youll have to head to WFMU to enjoy that….

Not unlike the Finesse set from Crotona back in the Summer, he erm, keeps the crowd listening with shed-loads of good old music, they both drop some of their own works and some blends, but to me, the highlights were the NEVER HEARD BEFORE instrumentals and acapulcos…

Donate if you can, WFMU will always welcome a donation…

Where would 90s dance music have been without hip hop?

Back when I used to earn a crust bending, punching, folding, welding and cutting sheets of metal, the only form of entertainment available, apart from tea breaks, shit breaks and calling each other queeeeeerr, was to have the radio on in the background. As we didn’t get London local radio on the South Coast we had to make do with radio one.

All day every day, the same 15 songs over and over again for months at a time. Aside from the occasional indie classic from Mark Radcliffe or Jo Whiley or an hour of Nostalgia from Simon Salad Cream (Mayo)’s Golden Hour, it was repetitive, dance music that dominated the airwaves.

Often the formula for these tracks included a chopped vocal sample from a rap record. It used to really grip my shit that the type of Sharon’s and Gary Lager’s that liked this music really hated hip hop. Don’t get it twisted, I don’t hate this music or these producers, if anything they are to be lauded for their digging. But anyway, you probably already know all these tracks, I just felt like giving them a collective salute cus like my man Masta Ace said, “Pay homage respect, acknowlege the rep”.

Schoolly D from Chemical Brothers:

Rockmaster Scott and Dynamic 3 from Chemical Brothers

Ultramagnetic MC’s from Prodigy

More Ultramagnetic used by the Prodigy, in fact there’s a whole lot of Kool Keith and Prodigy pairings.

ADOR sampled by Wildchild

Vinyl Dogs (Lord Finesse) from Fatboy Slim


There’s a million more such references all over the interweb, so many Ultramagnetic and Hijack samples that I can’t even be fucked to look for them.

Stretch Armstrong Show featuring Bobbito the Barber – 2nd November 1995 [Part One]

In recognition of the significance and the influence Fat Beats had over many a baggy pant wearin consumer through the years, here’s an old Fat Beats distributed Stretch and Bobb show from late 95, originally posted on Philaflava

The first cut, the The Greatest MC demo by Jigga, is a bit of a rarity by all accounts. The rest of the tape is a mix of random mid-90s fodder, some prowlers, some howlers. Just a balanced selection of good and great tunes from then. The Young Zee brought me back to that ubiquitous black card 12″ sleeve with the shaded sick black and green type-face on the sticker in the corner, even though I never owned it. I always had a soft spot for Omniscence, even though he got dropped faster than Adrian Chiles. Redman appears with his sister Roz, who knew? Leflaur Leflah is still shit in my eyes, I cant help noddin my head to it, but I will use fast forward I cannot lie.  Stretch blesses Braggin Writes by givin it a cheeky rub and the Double XX Posse remix is a doozy.

The freestyle session is a true classic, not just KRS on his inaugural trip up to 89TEC9, but look at the line-up, and they’re rhymin over beats Finesse layed down via 2 MPCs. The beat that opens Side B is the instrumental of Lets Get It On by Marvin the G, Steinski also used the beat on his Nothing to Fear alblum. Finesses’ version excursion of Joe Tex – Papa Was Too, is SAVAGE, offical double-duty nuts

Classic show, peep below for the freestyles. Our advice, somehow transfer this mp3 onto a ferric or preferably chrome 60 minute tape [embrace the hiss], throw on yer dusted old Jansport, get yer thickest hoody, get yer old Sony Walkman out, dust off that acidic erosion shit inside, get fresh batts and walk tall

Get over to for the double truth and an accurate timeline mapping the history off all the shows courtesy of the Philaflava mobb

Biggest shouts to the one BigSleep

Side A –

Jay-Z – Greatest MC [Demo]
Ill Biskits – God Bless Ya Life
Young Zee – Milk
Fat Joe -Success [Premier Remix]
The Fab 5 – Leflaur Leflah
Kool G Rap – 456
Mobb Deep – Temperatures Rising
J-Live – Braggin Writes
Cella Dwellas – Good Dwellas
Omniscence – Amazin’
Double XX Posse – Stop That Playin [Remix]
Stretch/ Bobb/ KRS/ Finesse – Intros

Side B –

KRS One/ Lord Finesse/ Supernatural – [15 minutes of Freestyles]
GZA, U-God, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah – Investigative Reports
Q Ball & Curt Cazal – My Kinda Moves
Redman [& Roz Noble] – I Get Down Like That
Real Live – Real Live Shit
Rakim – Remember That
Mic Geronimo – Train Of Thought
Lord Finesse ft. KRS-One & O.C. – Brainstorm
Supernatural – Buddah Blessed It

KRS One/ Lord Finesse/ Supernatural over the Funky Mans’ SP Beats MP3