Virginia rapper Doug Finesse and producer Jack TP channeled hip hop OGs Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg for the formula to success with their latest project.
The two artists released Only Option on January 29 online and according to Finesse, a hip hop musician from Prince George County, the eight-track album was inspired by authentic musicianship.
“It was so spontaneous how we met up and started cooking up all crazy,” he said. “[Jack TP] taught me so much more than anybody about creating music- it just happened naturally … like a Dr. Dre and Snoop [collaboration]- like any producer rapper combo, it just happens. We just have a great chemistry.”
Accompanying the album is a music video for the track “No Reason”, showing a day in the life of the Virginia emcee, and featuring people of all races and backgrounds coming together to enjoy life.
Only Option gives listeners a glimpse into the artist’s life, and touches on family, love and struggles he’s going through.
The video for “No Reason” was directed by Virginia artist/entrepreneur Dawit N.M., who founded the artist spotlight series, “Contour.” He also worked on Finesse’s video “Celebrate” off his EP Doug last year.
“I linked up with Dawit N.M. [the director of the video], we worked on the treatment for it and brought it to life,” Finesse said. “I was promoting on Snapchat and Twitter, telling everybody on a certain date to pull up to this location. Pull up, pull up, pull up- just promoting it. When it was time to shoot… a lot of people showed up so we shot…”
In the wake of independent artists like Noname and Chance The Rapper selling out tours and winning Grammys, musicians are finding more solace in organic support systems and cult fandom.
“It’s important to have a support system, but it’s even more important to make that team come together naturally- a music team or a crew is not like a football team where you take the best players from everywhere and just put them together,” said Finesse.
Surround Sound, Finesse and Jack TP link their success to their dedicated homage to the traditional hard work ethic connected with hip hop artists that have come before them.
From creating beats with more diversity in software and hardware to looking to trap architects like Lex Luger- Jack TP does his homework and it pays off.
“[The producer/rapper relationship] is extremely important. It’s like the foundation,” said Jack TP. “I’m trying to get more into hardware use to because I know that’s how they did it back in the day- I’m trying it keep it more authentic.”
Doug Finesse mentions the traditional relationship between the elements of rapping and DJing or producing as well.
“I feel like a lot of powerhouses and great teams come from a great producer and a great rapper. That’s just how we rock,” said Finesse. “I kind of play by things like an older artist- I really do like things traditional, you know.”
The song “Touchdown” featuring ATM Curly as well as “Vibe Out” featuring Rob V are expected to also get videos soon, adding to the overall project that is Only Option.
You can catch Doug Finesse and Jack TP at The Camel on March 13th for Forever Richmond, a showcase event presented by VirginiaGotNow for Virginia artists, both musically and traditionally, to showcase their work. Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm. $5 ADV / $7 DOS
Words by Tico Noise