Photo by Erik V. Stephens of Crush Media Group, LLC
Derek “Finale” Cooper is another peer of mine. When I was making my way into the Detroit hip hop scene, Finale was one of the first rappers from the city that I connected with [through mutual acquaintances]. In Finale’s early days, he was the fierce battle rapper with scathing bars of fury. The thing is, Derek had a rapid-fire flow that I think put him at a disadvantage from more simplisitic, punchliney rappers, who would rather make attempts at getting a laugh with a racial joke than show true skill in lyricism. People tend to like the simple stuff, so a complex eMCee like Finale never stayed on top of the battle charts. He was always feared and respected, but he was not a regular battle winner. Finale knew this, so he quickly bowed out of the Detroit rap battle scene and focused on his songwriting. It was then that Derek showed his true calling.
Seriously, brougham (pronounced “BROH-HAM”) can rap, no question. He can be brutal, then switch it up and play comforting. Finale has the chops to give a track whatever it needs to truly have value. I have always been trying to work on songs with him for the longest time and we have yet to do so. That is what happens when two passionate individuals – that stay busy – try to work together though, unless our interests are right there at that moment it is not happening.
I do have a random rap track that Finale and I did for a mixtape. I cannot even give you a year of when this track was recorded, but this was definitely in our early days. My raps have possibly gotten a lot better since this time. In fact, I am almost sure of it. LOL I bet Finale would proffer the same and he would be right. I have heard his new record A Pipe Dream and A Promise released April 7th on Interdependent Media and I just hear a friend that has grown A LOT.
My man Derek is a chill, quiet guy. You will see him everywhere in Detroit, but you will not find him in the streets “showing out,” as my Mom would say. Finale is not a rapper that is going to beg for your attention. If anything, he is just going to quickly recite his carefully-scripted verses, amaze you and leave. A guy like him has seen a lot in his short career as an eMCee. He is not amused by everything shiny; he does not chase down every bird that sings sweet nothings in his ear. He is a man on a mission. You will come to learn this as you listen to his new record. In fact, you can catch glimpses of that via a mix by Californian DJ King Most (SoulStrut.com connect, what up!) here: http://media.audibletreats.com/Finale-MegaMix-KingMost.mp3
You would do yourself a community service by paying attention to this promising eMCee that does more “pipe-cleaning” in terms of ear canals than “pipe dreaming.” He is a part of the new breed of the second coming of Detroit artists making an indelible mark on music. Remember, it comes out April 7th, so just mosey on to Amazon.com right now and buy it now!