Unlike most hip-hop artists, who tend to excel in just one area of the genre, D.I.T.C. (Diggin In The Crates) founding member Lord Finesse is an equally amazing MC, DJ, and producer. Add to that a hella funny guy with a career in stand-up waiting for him if he ever wants it as proven by the funny sharp wit he displays when hosting DMC battles. Recently I caught up with the longtime Bronx born multi-talented hip-hop artist, at one of the Crotona Park Jams where he was just kicking back and enjoying the rich cultural vibe of park jam produced by Tools of War. He would perform at the same event two weeks later.
Being in the Bronx park brought it all back for Finesse, as it was there as a kid that he got his sharp wit and quick comebacks he says. "Ah man all that comes from snappin' in the park when we were younger, and joking and snappin' all the time. So it's natural for me to just come up off the top. That's why the rhymes, the punchlines, they're designed that way," he said. On the hot topic of hip-hop as a culture with an important history versus rap as merely a commodity, Lord Finesse feels quite strongly. "All that stuff you hear on the radio when they say you could be great at rap and hip-hop without knowing the culture is like you trying to be a doctor without getting a degree," he said.
In this digital age Lord Finesse contends that too many young artists rely solely on the Internet as their outlet when they need to go out on tour and "be ready to roll up your sleeves" meet the fans and connect with them. "If you think that you are going to throw up your little video on YouTube or put out your mixtape and think you are gonna be straight" that is too limited an approach he stressed. "Then you're not covering all bases." One of those bases traditionally has been radio airplay but its importance has shifted over the decades compared with when Lord Finesse officially started his career in 1989.