Lord Finesse—a founder of the seminal NYC crew Diggin’ in the Crates—spent the first half of the ‘90s tearing through the game as an unparalleled producer with a penchant for punchlines. While lacing the boards for the likes of Biggie and Big L, Finesse was many rappers’ favorite rapper, turning any party out whether written or off the dome. His impact’s immediately apparent on 'The Awakening,' the third and final Lord Finesse solo album that gave us classic singles alongside features and interludes from a rich tapestry of the era’s brightest minds. The album rides like a cipher for the ages, Finesse weaving through his own showstopper soundtrack with a seasoned slow flow and endless wit to stand tall alongside the greats. It’s an extended demonstration of dedication to the true and livin’: no fraud shit allowed, no fake shit tolerated.