Monday, December 12, 2005

Best MC Behind the Boards: Lord Finesse


Gaining pounds

Illegal "On Da Mic (Feat. AG and Lord Finesse)"
from The Untold Truth, 1993
DJ Cam: "Broadcasting Live (Lord Finesse Remix)"
from Abstract Manifesto, 1996
Peanut Butter Wolf: "Run the Line (Remix)"
from Definition of Ill, 2004 1998 (thx, Tired & Broke)

When the subject of "Best Producer on the Mic" comes up, names like Diamond D, RZA, and Large Pro tend to dominate the number one spot (no ghostwriters allowed...Dr. Dre, Pete Rock, and Kanye are automatically disqualified). Flip it around, and you've got a new list: The Best MC Behind the Boards. Producers who are primarily MCs that get busy with the SP are many, but few have become equally known for their production work. Lord Finesse's legacy is now equal parts memorable basslines and punchlines thanks to his work in and out of the DITC crew.

It's no secret that the funky technician laced the end tracks for both "Ready To Die" and "The Chronic 2000," or that practically half of Big L's "Lifestylez..." was his production work. But looking at it in retrospective, it's pretty amazing, particularly since the bulk of his production resume consists of one-off remixes for a ton of underground acts (see the discography).

Manifest Destiny serves up three lesser-heard Lord Finesse productions that represent the scope of his work. First up is the piece he did for kiddie-gangstaz Illegal. Rolling thick bassine, check. Fly horns sprinkled on the chorus, check. DITC ally on the guest spot? Check.

How great is Finesse's production work? Great enough to make even French rappers Channel Live sound nice. DJ Cam enlisted the work of the Bronx architect on his "Broadcasting Live" joint.

Finally, the Lord Finesse sticks to his audio blueprint on the remix of Peanut Butter Wolf's "Run the Line." I'll be the first to admit that I'm a rap nostalgist to the core, but this formula is essential DITC and rarely gets tired, even 10 years after its apex in the hip-hop soundscape.

Extrablogicular Reading
Lord Finesse's own production credits page
Diggin in the Japanese Crates: Vinyl Addicts incredible post about Japanese DITC exclusives

12 Comments:

At 12/15/2005 6:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post. I recently purchased The Untold Truth for the Erick Sermon and Diamond D songs. So...are we in store for a Erick Sermon post?

 
At 12/15/2005 7:06 PM, Blogger The Rap Pundit said...

Not a bad idea! E-double may be the one of the top prolific rap producers of all time, yet gets eternally slept-upon in top ten lists everywhere.

As for being "Best MC Behind the Boards," I think people stopped listening to E-Double's lyrics ages ago. He gets equal recognition for his contributions to both production and trading verses with Parrish.

 
At 12/30/2005 1:26 PM, Blogger Tired & Broke said...

I don't mean to nitpick but I thought I'd let you know M Ceezy, that the Lord Finesse remix of Run the line originally came out in 1998. there was 2 versions of the 'Run the Line Remixes' single... the american version had the Original PB Wolf version, a G Luv version, DJ Celory Version, & the infamous Lord Finesse Version....while the overseas version just had the PB Wolf Version, DJ Celory Version, & the Lord Finesse Version, but the icing on the cake for the overses version was that it had the instrumental for all 3 joints (this the version I have), and that Lord Finesse Remix is phenomenal.... yo M Ceezy I also wanted to ask if ya'll would repost the audio to that N-tyce single???? I'd greatly appreciate it....

peace..... T&B

 
At 12/30/2005 1:46 PM, Blogger The Rap Pundit said...

Tired & Broke-
Added details are always appreciated. I was dating that Lord Finesse remix from the Definition of Ill compilation.

N-Tyce single has been reposted here.

 
At 12/31/2005 1:26 PM, Blogger Tired & Broke said...

great looking out man.... she's from my home town area and I forgor all about this banger she dropped back in the day....respect man...maaad respect for that ....

peace...

 
At 1/01/2006 7:10 AM, Anonymous Harrigan said...

good post. wasn't the dj cam remix featuring the channel live rappers of "mad izm" fame?

 
At 1/01/2006 1:16 PM, Blogger The Rap Pundit said...

Harrigan-
True indeed! I mistook the second vocalists' wack flow for a French accent...correction made in the post, good looking out on that.

 
At 1/07/2006 6:30 PM, Blogger TunnelVision said...

Ayo, Good post. LF has been holdin' it down for a NY minute. Far too few hiphop critics see quality in it's purest forms.

 
At 8/08/2006 2:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grand Puba is the greatest rapping producer ever hands down

 
At 11/05/2008 1:09 AM, Blogger cenzi said...

I gotta add Scarface and KRS to this list of MC's that also produce beats. KRS made Mad Lion sound so authentic. And Scarface... damn... his production is amazing...

 
At 6/19/2010 6:03 PM, Blogger The Ref said...

yooo does anyone know the sample used for "show em how we do things?" off of the return of the funky man album. I cant find it anywhere

 
At 2/28/2011 10:05 PM, Blogger Sheldon Kreger said...

One of the sickest beats I have ever heard is on Vinnie Paz's latest solo album "Season of the Assassin" on a track called "Righteous Kill" - now I'm looking for everything I can find Finesse producing. The link to his complete discography is down. Where can I find more?

 

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