As a producer, rapper and founding member of the legendary D.I.T.C. crew, Lord Finesse has long established his hip hop legend credentials.
Through both his own classic albums, including 1990's Funky Technician and 1991's Return of the Funky Man, and production for others (Dr. Dre, Big L, Notorious B.I.G. among others), Finesse's soul-drenched samples and clever wordplay routinely place him near the top of many Hip Hop's Best Producers lists.
In the latest episode of Crate Diggers Finesse delves into his collection and tells the stories behind his most famous tracks.
On Notorious B.I.G. Using His Beat for "Suicidal Thoughts"
[Diddy said] “I want you to work with BIG." “BIG? Who’s BIG?” When I had a chance to really hear this dude flow, I knew he was exceptional then. It just bounced all over and came back on beat. I’m playing him beats and he picks this “Godforsaken, don’t let me catch you in an alley beat.” As a producer, I don’t want to just sell you a beat to make a dollar. I want to make sure you're going to do something incredible with it. I never heard the record until it came out. I was shocked.
On PM Dawn Being the King Vinyl-Collector
There was this one dealer and he would not sell one record until PM Dawn came. You come here and you see all the stuff on the wall like, “Yo, lemme get…” “Naw, I’m closed until PM Dawn come.” Are you serious? PM Dawn would come in there damn near trying to buy his own collection. I’ve seen him at the table with a stack like this [Spaces hands out from head to toe].
On Differentiating Himself
I just try to be different with my choice of music. I’m not like, “So and so got that so I’ma try to get it because…” It’s like boning a girl second. What do you get out of that? You want to bone her first. It’s different now. If somebody use a groove and it’s hot, then everybody uses it. That was corny back then. Why would you use that right after this dude? If you were to touch something somebody else used, you had to do something creatively different with it to the point where a person would respect your work even after they knew this person used it.