On this day in hip-hop history...


1996: Bronx-born mainstay and Diggin' in the Crates leader Lorde Finesse released his third album, The Awakening on Feb. 20, 1996.

Not to be confused with the 19th century Kate Chopin novel about feminism, The Awakening was a self-produced, concentrated effort from Lord Finesse featuring collabs with KRS One, Sadat X, MC Lyte and Kid Capri. The sixteen track-LP peaked at number 36 at Billboard's Top R&B and Hip-Hop Albums. The most successful single from the album was "Hip 2 Da Game," which featured a cool, low key melody over Finesse's laid-back rhymes. The video for "Hip 2 Da Game" shows Finesse asserting his rap supremacy in a lavish mansion and features cameos from Fat Joe and Big L. Mac Miller later sampled Finesse's "Hip 2 Da Game" for his 2010 mixtape, K.I.D.S on the song "Kool Aid and Frozen Pizza."

Though The Awakening was his last studio album to date, Lord Finesse has stuck around in the music business and forgone rhyming in favor of producing. He has produced for Dr. Dre, Big L and Fatboy Slim.

Related: KRS-One, Lord Finesse and More Detail Hip-Hop's Growth in the Documentary 'A Way Of Life'
Lord Finesse Is Suing Mac Miller, Rostrum Records for $10 Million
Lord Finesse Says He Has "No Beef" with Mac Miller

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