Lord Finesse Breaks Down Compound Rhyme Schemes And Explains His Flair For Punchlines

This week on People’s Party with Talib Kweli, Kweli and Jasmin Leigh go deep with rapper/production icon Lord Finesse, whose work with the D.I.T.C. (Diggin’ in the Crates) crew gave birth to multiple hits and a production style that helped define the times. Beyond his unique production sound, Finesse has also always been known for his crisp lyricism — a fact that Kweli keyed in on.

“My style comes from my heroes,” Finesse notes. “Kane, Rakim, KRS ONE, [and] Kool G. Rap. During that time you only wished you could be as great as them or you would be noticed and your name would ring like their names would ring.”

Later, as the conversation moves into the art of battle rapping, Finesse notes, “Some of the best punchlines are when you don’t see them coming. If I can predict your punchline and see where it’s coming from… it ain’t that great.”

Since his 1990 debut album Funky Technician with DJ Mike Smooth and Return of the Funky Man in 1992, Finesse let the world know he meant serious lyrical business. Over the years, he’s worked with some of the best — from Big L to Brand Nubian to Vinnie Paz, among others. In 2020, he dropped “Actual Facts” featuring veteran spitters Sadat X, Lord Professor, and Grand Puba, making it clear that this stone-cold icon is still carrying the torch for real hip-hop!

Watch Lord Finesse talk about his epic journey as one of hip-hop’s most respected rappers and producers on People’s Party with Talib Kweli on YouTube or listen via Luminary.