||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (May 2010)|
|Birth name||Robert Hall, Jr.|
|Born||February 19, 1970|
|Origin||The Bronx, New York|
|Labels||Wild Pitch/EMI Records
Giant/Reprise/Warner Bros. Records
Penalty/Tommy Boy/Warner Bros. Records
|Associated acts||Diamond D, Big L, Fat Joe, Chill Rob G, Showbiz & AG, Ice-T, D.I.T.C., O.C|
Lord Finesse (born Robert Hall, Jr.; February 19, 1970) is a hip-hop artist and producer, from The Bronx, New York, best known as the leader of the D.I.T.C. crew. About.com ranked him number 29 on its list of the Top-50 Hip-Hop Producers.
In 1989, Finesse and his former partner DJ Mike Smooth signed with Wild Pitch Records, home of other popular hip hop artists such as Gang Starr, Main Source, Chill Rob G, Percee P and O.C.. In 1990, the duo released their debut album Funky Technician. The album featured production from future star beat-makers DJ Premier, Diamond D and Showbiz. Soon after, Finesse formed the popular New York underground crew D.I.T.C., an acronym for "Diggin In The Crates", together with Showbiz & AG and Diamond D. Future members included Fat Joe, O.C., Buckwild, and Big L.
Finesse returned as a solo artist in early 1992 with his second effort, Return of the Funky Man. The album featured guest appearances from Percee P and AG. The album's title track peaked at number 13 on the Hot Rap Singles chart. Return of the Funky Man also included a couple of songs that were produced by Finesse himself, and this would be the start of a career as a much respected hip-hop producer. In 1994 Finesse made a production appearance on The Notorious B.I.G.'s classic debut Ready to Die, on the track Suicidal Thoughts. In 1995, he produced a big portion of Big L's debut album Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous, including the single M.V.P. and also made an appearance on one of the album's highlight songs "Da Graveyard". He finally returned as an artist in 1996 with the now rare 12" single Check The Method and then the acclaimed album The Awakening. Finesse produced the entire album himself, and enlisted a large number of guests, including O.C., KRS-One, MC Lyte, Akinyele, Showbiz and A.G., Diamond D and Kid Capri. The underground single Actual Facts, featuring Sadat X, Grand Puba and Large Professor, was included as a hidden track on the album.
Finesse hasn't released a studio album since this effort, but has continued his production work. In 1997, he produced the title track to O.C.'s acclaimed effort Jewelz and also the track "Channel 10" off of Capone-n-Noreaga's debut The War Report. Finesse released a mixtape called Diggin' On Blue in 1999. Later in the year, he produced the track The Message on Dr. Dre's seminal 2001 album. Finesse is currently working on a Funky Technician remix project, as well as a new D.I.T.C. album. Along with these projects, he and DJ Premier are working on a posthumous Big L album.
In 1998, Finesse provided the vocal sample on the hook to The Rockafeller Skank, a hit single by British musician Fatboy Slim from his album You've Come a Long Way, Baby. The song features Finesse's repeated line "Right about now, the funk soul brother. Check it out now, the funk soul brother".
Lord Finesse returned to the mic on Handsome Boy Modeling School's album White People in 2004. He was featured on the song entitled "Rock 'N' Roll (Could Never Hip-Hop Like This) pt. 2, collaborating with famous old-school DJ's Grand Wizard Theodore and Jazzy Jay. Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda from Linkin Park make appearances, as well as Rahzel of The Roots.
In June 2012, Finesse filed an exorbitant $10 million lawsuit against Mac Miller, (Rostrum Records) and DatPiff for the use of a sample of Finesse's song "Hip 2 Da Game" used in Miller's 2010 mixtape song "Kool-Aid and Frozen Pizza", even though the song was not commercially released and Finesse was given credit for the sample from the beginning. A case can be made that the song "made money through YouTube ads and Lord Finesse could be entitled to some of those, but instead Finesse believes that his beat has been instrumental to all of Mac's success." This was done even though the song is itself based on an Oscar Peterson sample, which he himself never paid for. Lord Finesse sampled 3 seconds of the intro to Oscar Petersons version and included his own drums and bassline, whereas Mac Miller used all 4:17 of Lord Finesse's instrumental which violated copyright laws when Mac Millers production company made money off of the song through iTunes without Lord Finesse's permission. In January 2013 the lawsuit was settled outside of court with actual legal results not revealed.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Return of the Funky Man||95|
|Funky Man: The Prequel||--|
- Kurutz, Steve. "Biography: Lord Finesse". Allmusic. Retrieved 23 May 2010.