Artist: Lord FinesseTitle: From the Crates to the Files: The Lost SessionsRating: 4 StarsReviewed by: N. Context
Its the L-O-R-D F-I-N-E double S-E!!!! Its been a long minute since we last heard from Finesse on the mic. He has comeback with From the Crates to the Files: The Lost Sessions to bless all the true Lord Finesse fans & followers with original recordings, remixes and tracks previously released as promo singles. Finesse first hit the scene in 1989 with Baby You Nasty and followed it up with his classic debut album in 1990, Funky Technician. Since then hes collaborated with the likes of DJ Premier, B.I.G., Dr. Dre and his fellow D.I.T.C. (Diggin In The Crates) Crew to establish himself as a renowned emcee and producer.
From the Crates was unofficially released in 1998 on vinyl. The official CD features a collection of Finesses old school hits and remixes such as Return of the Funky Man (Remix), You Know What Im About (rmx) and S.K.I.T.S (Shorties Kaught in the System). Listening to this album is like entering a time warp back to the early 90s when James Brown and horn sampling was prevalent as well as the use of scratching and mixing vocals to create hooks. On You Know What Im About (rmx) he loops the opening to Scooby Doos theme song to create a sinisterly rugged beat. The variety of Finesses samples show why hes a founding D.I.T.C. member.
What make this album special are the early recordings with the late Big L and the hard to find releases. Yes You May (Unreleased Remix) and You Know What Im About, both featuring Big L, are underground gems not released on eithers previous albums. Finesse and Big L are two peas of a pod when it comes to rhyme styles. While Big Ls flow is slightly more fluid and his content is more horrorcore rap than Finesse, their rhyme structure, delivery and metaphors are uncannily similar.
The only knock I have with this album is that there are neither any songs from his first album, nor anything current. I was looking forward to hearing Strictly For The Ladies and/or Funky Technician or brand new tracks Id never heard before. But alas, it was not to be. Regardless, Finesse provides ample songs to keep your ears happy and to his loyal followers, underground bangers only found on mix tapes and scarce vinyl.