Mention Las Vegas and images of tacky neon weddings, bright lights, show girls, card tables and slot machines is what usually comes to mind but one of Def Jam’s newest signees, Mr. Finley, knows there’s more to the city than casinos along the strip. While people flocked to Las Vegas gamble their money away this young emcee calculated the risks and took a chance on Hip Hop while he was still in his mid teens. When he made the decision to rap Mr. Finley knew it wasn’t going to be all fun and games and it would take a lot more work than pulling the arm of a slot machine to strike it big.
With his four volumes King of Vegas mixtape series behind him, Mr. Finley and his team have been working hard to get an album ready. Something this official in Hip Hop has never come from Vegas before. They say “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” but through Def Jam/K.A.M.P Wess/ Ghet-O-Vision Entertainment Mr. Finley is about to change that truth.
Local Invisibility: “It’s real hard in Vegas and it isn’t a place that caters to locals. Local artists don’t get a chance to get radio play or to perform in too many clubs because most of the clubs are on the strip and they really just kinda kick us under the rug. There really hasn’t been an established artist to get a deal and put us on the map per say so it’s like we’re still invisible to our own city. Until I really got into a position to see how everything was workin’ behind the scenes it was like I didn’t really understand why we weren’t gettin’ the attention or the respect that we deserved. It always just made me go back to the lab and even if people tell me that it’s great and until we reach that point I’m still gonna keep goin’ and I’m still gonna keep workin’ and I’m still gonna keep improvin’ until when we go to the clubs and place we’re not pushed to the back of the line.”
What Outsiders Don’t Know: “When I meet people who aren’t from Vegas, they don’t really get that there are actual neighborhoods and parts of town; everybody thinks that there is just the strip and then downtown but there’s a million houses out here. There’s so much more that goes on like there’s a lot of gang activity out here. If you in trouble it’s real easy to stay in trouble unless you stay in the house. So it’s like you have to keep your mind on more positive things and there are not too many positive things out here; there’s gamblin’, and sex, and drugs, and gang violence.”
Called By A Different Name At Home: “Wease Mac has been my nickname since about ’96. I’ve always been popular around Vegas because I was doin’ music. When we started doin’ music, like me and my friends, there weren’t any young guys doin’ music. A lot of people are always gonna recognize me because I was always the first one that was doin’ it as far as our generation. It’s cool to me if they still refer to me as Wease Mac but I want the rest of the world to know I am The Talented Mr. Finley.”
Three, Two, None – It’s Done: “When I was in Desert Squad I was considered one of the top emcees in Vegas. When we really decided that we weren’t gonna do Desert Squad anymore I already knew that’s not gonna stop my program and I have to keep doin’ it. We were together from about ’97 to about 2000, but one of our members kept gettin’ into legal troubles so he would be missin’ shows and studio time. It was like he kept gettin’ locked up a lot and so since there were only three of us that dropped us down to two. Basically, the other guy, even though we’re not still called ‘Desert Squad’ he’s still one of the main producers that I mess with. I’m pretty sure in the future we’ll come back because that’s somethin’ that we started. It was so hot, it was so fresh and that was like the beginning of Las Vegas havin’ their own thing.”
Mixtape Game & Jackin’ For Beats: “Before I did the King of Vegas Vol. 1 there hadn’t been anybody that did a mixtape out here period! I am not ‘the’ but I was one of the first people to do that. I wasn’t doin’ it to build a buzz through mixtapes but I just wanted to make music. I didn’t have the tracks that I wanted to rap on at that point in time so I just started jackin’ people’s beats ‘cause I just needed to get work done. It just so happens that everybody took a liking to it and I’m glad they did because I put my all into them. I’m glad they got a good result.”
Album Intentions: “We’re shootin’ for first quarter of next year to release The Talented Mr. Finley. We were gonna do it for end of this year but we really wanna make it more special than just an album that comes out. This is the first shot from Las Vegas so we can’t just say, ‘Here’s an album and it’s comin’ out next month on this date.’”
Production Credits: “With every different producer we really just sat and vibed anytime I went over to the studio and listened to everything that we already had and just said, ‘What’s missin’ and what’s gonna make this more complete?’ The first guy that we went in with was Don Cannon [click to read] and we did ‘Any Night of The Week’ at his studio. I got in with DJ Toomp [click to read] for two or three days and he got like four tracks on the album. Another producer is Jake One [click to read] who use to do a lot of stuff for G-Unit and he sent over two tracks.”
Expect Something Big: “We got everything soundin’ like real live band, big band and an overall Vegas style with a 2009 touch on it; bigger bass, drums and all of that. I’m talkin’ about the things that I see on a day to day which is different from the average person that would come to Vegas and see in Vegas. Like there’s two sides to the strip; like there’s a shiny side and there’s a dark side. I’m not sayin’ that it’s gloomy music ‘cause all of my music is feel good music but at the same time the messages in there are about the type of stuff that really goes down out here.”
From The West To The Rest: “If you listen to my music, I use west coast slang I mean that’s just how I was raised, but at the same time I don’t limit myself. I wanna rep the west coast to the fullest but I don’t want it to be only the west coast to sayin’ I’m hot.”
Check Mr. Finley out [click here].