[20 April 2009]
With Finale’s A Pipe Dream and a Promise, Detroit’s stranglehold on the rap game becomes even tighter. And after a great ‘08 for the Motor City, it just didn’t seem possible that the trend could continue. Call me a pessimist, but seriously, hip-hop, like every other genre, and its fans are so fickle that nothing and no one stays around for more than a few months. But when you are steadily building in the underground, those rules do not apply. And Finale’s latest continues building the D’s stance as one of the go-to cities for hip-hop. Only two of the album’s 15 tracks threaten to slow the pace, and even so, “Jumper Cables” and “Style” aren’t that bad.
Their braggadocio sentiments are fine, but the tracks are bogged down by boring, almost cringe-worthy hooks. But, on the whole, they do nothing to hinder A Pipe Dream and a Promise from being one of the top releases on 2009. You simply cannot go wrong with the lyrical onslaught heard on tracks like “The Waiting Game” featuring the always-stellar Invincible and the thumping “Motor Music”, one of the two Black Milk productions. Both rival album-opener “Arrival and Departure” for this record’s top spot, but nothing can top the track’s two-in-one twist that has Finale flipping syllables and breaking down walls with his ridiculous flow. And you can hear him do just that on nearly every cut on here, even the aforementioned pair spoiled by brainless hooks. Hip-hop heads, rappers, and producers across the spectrum need to take notice. Finale is not messing around on here. From shit-talking bangers to introspective epics to everything in between, A Pipe Dream and a Promise delivers the goods and then some.