Between the failing automotive industry and record low seasons from their professional football team, the city of Detroit has more reasons than usual to feel hopeless during a recession. Sharing the same sense of disparity comes a rapper not afraid bank his aspirations on the power of alliteration: Finale. Planted firmly in the Motown music scene, his debut A Pipe Dream And A Promise features prominent beatsmiths such as Black Milk, Oddisee and of course his mentor J Dilla to deliver the soundtrack to his life as a wishful thinker thus far.
Given the album title’s despairingly bleak implication, Pipe Dream’s vibe tends to wallow in the nether regions of Glumville. But instead of humdrum, the results manage to illicit good, cerebral Hip-Hop. Tracks like “Jumper Cables” and “Pay Attention” reverberate thick, syrupy bass loops with touches of organ jubilance to offer up balance and options. “The Waiting Game,” the D-Town duet with the underrated Invincible, abides by similar codes as the two MCs flip their verbs over Slimkat’s sweet n’ sour melody.
Finale operates as a rapper’s rapper, focusing primarily on bullying the beats opposed to giving leeway to any sort of rhythm or catchy banter. This works well on the more aggressive content like the blistering “Motor Music” where Finale gets dirtier than a mechanic with greasy rhymes and the eponymously titled “Heat.”
But momentum is periodically lost on the milder joints like “Brother’s Keeper” and “What You Mean To Me” where Finale’s booming baritone lags without a boost of adrenaline from the beats. The interludes, despite adding to the album’s organic feel, act as speedbumps along the road as well, slowing things down more than welcomed. The overall package still rounds out nicely but such obstacles do hinder the finished product ever so slightly.
Every year countless rappers enter the industry with dreams of making it big, but A Pipe Dream And A Promise is clear cut evidence Finale has the skills to make his pay off. That is, if he can keep his head out of the clouds long enough.
Previously Posted — TSS Presents Fifteen Minutes With Finale