Published Mar 31, 2009If ever there was a time to break the news to your folks that you were eschewing the uncertainty of a well-paying job in the auto industry for the stability of a career as a pavement-pounding MC, now might be it. For as the financial bloodletting continues in Motown, the city's hip-hop scene has never seemed a safer bet for top-notch words and sounds, and Detroit wordsmith Finale is just the latest in a long line to prove that point. Melding a tough, workman-like flow with intelligent reflections, clever metaphors and an ear for unique, quality soundscapes, the former automotive engineer projects the most endearing qualities of the city that birthed him on latest set A Pipe Dream And A Promise. Captivating musical turns, like the manipulated classical run on the Black Milk-produced "One Man Show" and the swelling electronic tones of "Issues," add substance and emotion to Finale's meaty words, while Khrysis proves the perfect mate, with an equally emotive sound amalgamation in the Invincible-blessed "The Waiting Game." The disc wraps up with a dose of humility, style and grace, as the motor city lyricist shows respect for the fruits of his career on the record's title track before paying homage to Dilla over a "Fall In Love" reworking and officially adding his name to Detroit's historic musical legacy.
You've mentioned how Dilla helped you out in the past, and you've made two tracks with him in mind on this record.
When I met Dilla, it started out as an arranged deal through a label out in New York. They had wanted Dilla and I to connect on my first single. Back then I didn't have the budget to go out and just pop for a Dilla beat, but he knew that I was a local artist and that it was my first single and that it would help me out a lot. So he did me a favour based on the fact that I was from the same city he was from; he really looked out for his own. Dilla had a lot of advice for local artists [and] he taught me how to be humble and loyal, and just how to work towards getting respect instead of just running up and expecting people to give it to you.
Would you say Detroit is finally on the level of the other great hip-hop centres?
I think we're getting there. I don't think we're 100-percent there yet but I think we're a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. But it's like, when you hear "Brooklyn" what do you think of? You think of Big, or Kweli, you think of Mos Def, 'cause that's them — that's their brand. But when you think of Detroit, I just want people to be like that and to think of Dilla and to think of Proof, to think of Black and to think of Guilty the same way. I think we're almost there and I think that in a few years, with a couple more releases, we'll definitely be there. But I think we're on the right path right now. (Interdependent Media)