Tag Archives: Underboss Entertainment

Live In Tokyo Mix Pt.1 – Lord Finesse

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The Funkyman digs deep in the crates for the first part of this mix of beats and breaks recorded live in Japan during his recent Soundwave Tour – check the method here.

New Joint – Lord Finesse / DJ Muro

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Lord Finesse – “Slave To My Soundwave – DJ Muro Remix” (Slice-Of-Spice.Com / 2013)

Incase you won’t be in Japan this month to see Finesse do his thing onstage and pick up some limited edition tour vinyl, Slice-Of-Spice have made this previously-unreleased remix of a “Funky Technician” gem available in small numbers on the label’s site for the next twenty-four hours.

Live Review – Lord Finesse / DJ Boogie Blind

Venue: The Music Cafe, Leicester  Date: 18 November 2012

Only a handful of Hip-Hop artists are able to live up to the promise of their name like Bronx-bred legend Lord Finesse, otherwise known as the Funkyman. True Hip-Hop royalty who can rock the mic, sampler and turntables with natural ease, the founding D.I.T.C. member’s dusty-fingered, boom-bap musical aesthetic and witty, punchline-heavy flow helped define 90s East Coast Hip-Hop, with Finesse also having worked with superstar acts such as The Notorious B.I.G. and Dr. Dre as well as underground artists like Shorty Long and AK Skills.

With a career now spanning over twenty years, Finesse has been keeping fans happy in recent times with a slew of previously-unreleased golden-era gems via the Slice Of Spice label, whilst continuing to work on his heavily-anticipated new album.

Having not performed in the UK since 2005, news of a Lord Finesse / DJ Boogie Blind European tour sent waves of anticipation throughout the British underground Hip-Hop community. But no matter how high hopes may have been for gigs in locations including London, Leeds and Brighton, based on the hugely positive feedback appearing on social networking sites after each show, it’s probably safe to say there aren’t many fans who left their chosen venue having not had their expectations well and truly exceeded by a brilliant performance from Finesse and Boogie Blind.

After being thoroughly impressed by the pair’s quality London gig earlier this month, I definitely couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see the Rotten Apple representatives do it all over again on the “Here I Come” tour’s final date in Leicester.

Following a lively opening from Boogie Blind, the Funkyman strode onstage full of BX swagger, launching into a brief introductory verse that perfectly captured the essence of Finesse’s lyrical persona – slick, humorous, and, ultimately, always ready to put a sucker emcee in check.

Graciously acknowledging the fact that the venue was approximately only half-full, Finesse assured those who had made the effort to attend that, whether there was “two or two thousand people” in front of him, he would always aim to put the same amount of energy into any show.

Working his way through classics from his album releases “Funky Technician” (1990), “Return Of The Funky Man” (1992) and “The Awakening” (1995), Finesse proved just how timeless his back catalogue is, with none of the material sounding dated in the least as the L-O-R-D enthusiastically performed tracks such as “Bad Mutha” and “Party Over Here” as if he’d just released them yesterday, with his attention to detail during soundcheck paying dividends as his voice sounded identical to the original recordings.

The heavy bassline of the brilliant “You Know What I’m About” drew cheers from the crowd, as to did the rumbling drums of “Brainstorm” and the infectious opening sample of “Flip Da Style”.

Pausing to allow Boogie Blind to showcase his deejay skills, the X-ecutioner sliced Run DMC’s “Beats To The Rhyme” back-to-back with cuts as clean as Sunday church clothes. As the audience’s excitement levels grew with each flick of Blind’s wrist, the pair then took things to another level, as Finesse sauntered behind the turntables to watch Boogie do his thing, only for the Harlem deejay to suddenly step away from the decks, allowing the Funkyman to take his place and carry on cutting back-and-forth without missing a beat.

Continuing to each take their turn behind the ones and twos, resulting in a fluid, uninterrupted scratch attack, the skillful demonstration culminated with both Blind and Finesse attempting to out-do one another as they each pulled out their best tricks, scratching behind backs and working the crossfader with various body parts.

Establishing and maintaining a strong rapport with the crowd, Finesse interspersed his performance with opinions on the current state of the rap game (“I’m not with none of that electronic s**t”), stories of working with the likes of KRS-One, and, of course, recollections of the late, great Big L, with the animated artist telling the tale of how the pair first met before Boogie Blind dropped a handful of the NY emcee’s signature tracks such as “Put It On”.

The iconic producer-on-the-mic also took the opportunity to pay tribute to his Diggin’ In The Crates comrades, stating that only Wu-Tang could compare to the multi-faceted clique when it came to pure talent, before running through a selection of crew cuts including perhaps the definitive D.I.T.C. posse track, the Diamond D-produced “Day One”.

Bringing the night to a close accompanied by the sound of relentless applause, Finesse and Boogie Blind left the stage having given a near-perfect lesson in live Hip-Hop, completing a tour that will no doubt be remembered for years to come by those who were fortunate enough to witness the true-school duo in action.

Praise the Lord!

Ryan Proctor

Footage of Lord Finesse performing “Funky Technician” at Leicester’s Music Cafe.