New project finds rapper emerging from 18 months of writing with new music in an assortment of forms
It has taken some time, some troubles and some tinkering, but G. Finesse is getting his music where he wants it to be.
Finesse's band, Black Eagle, has been through some name changes and some lineup changes, but has settled on a comfortable working relationship that finds the songwriting responsibilities handled primarily by a core group that includes the Columbus rapper/singer along with guitarist/producer Brian Harrington and singer Morgan Fisher. The group has been incognito from stages for the past 18 months as it worked on writing new songs.
New songs in an assortment of forms will be part of a “Black Eagle Friday” show at Rumba Cafe on Friday, Nov. 23. In addition to songs from a new Finesse solo project, SoupKitchen, the show will also feature new Morgan Fisher singles and full band songs.
“I'm 31 years old and I'm getting to the place where I semi-know who the fuck I am,” Finesse said in a recent interview. “Rap has always been about bravado, but I find I'm pulling myself back. Being honest is important, and for SoupKitchen I'm speaking about what I want to speak about. And there are thoughts in there that … when I was 20 years old, I didn't think like that.”
There's plenty of bravado infused throughout SoupKitchen, but the songs also find Finesse hearkening back to his childhood in Columbus' Greenbrier complex, once known as “Uzi Alley,” and being shown off as a bit of a rap prodigy by his older brothers. “As a shorty had a love for this rhyming shit/Spit my first verse to my brother back in '96/Little snot nose with the flows I was rhyming sick/Wanted to be more than the product of environment,” Finesse raps on “Breakfast.”
Finesse said making sure the beats and arrangements were handled with the same resolve as the lyrics was an important part of the past year and a half. Harrington confessed the band's early focus was on playing gigs and developing a rep as one of the city's best party bands.
“I got better at making beats and we all got better at attention to detail,” Harrington said. “We have become our own biggest critics.”
The songwriting core of Finesse, Harrington and Fisher is at the heart of the new music, whether it features Finesse solo, Fisher solo or Black Eagle, which weds rap with old-school soul.
“My songs are a little more personal to me, more of my perspective,” Fisher said. “I came into the band singing backup, and so on those songs I'm trying to work intuitively with what [Finesse] is doing.”
“It's about whichever personality shines in any given song,” Finesse said. “We're just using a palette where whatever it is we're trying to say can be explained by both of us.”