Release Date: Jun 19, 2012
Record label: Parallel Thought
When he ambled onto the rap scene with 1991’s I Wish My Brother George Was Here, ?Del the Funky Homosapien presented somewhat of an anomaly. He was a West Coast? MC who eschewed the N.W.A. gangsta rap ethos, even though he was none other than Ice Cube’s cousin. Instead of hard-hitting tracks about inner city poverty and crime, or even the more positive Afrocentrism of the East Coast’s Native Tongues movement, Del’s songs dealt with riding the bus, wandering around the Bay Area and friends crashing on his couch.
West Coast golden child Del the Funky Homosapien teamed with rugged New Jersey underground producers Parallel Thought once before for Parallel Uni-Verses, his 2009 collaboration with Artifacts member Tame One. That album's casual vibe and nostalgic look back to hip-hop's golden days was forgettably fun and sounded like a miniature block party, due in large part to Parallel Thought's brightly celebratory beats. Reconvening for Attractive Sin, the East Cost/West Coast power team creates something a little more substantial than what came before, with Del in nonstop flow mode for most of the record and production that glides between booming, raw, and even subtly psychedelic.
Much has been said about the legacy of Del the Funky Homosapien, but he’s hoping to expand it. As a critically acclaimed emcee hailing from Oakland, California, Del is credited with being an influential figure in the Bay area Rap scene. From his solo work to his collaborations to his material with Hieroglyphics brethren, Del has become an adored figure in the California landscape.
On Attractive Sin standout “Different Guidelines”, Del the Funky Homosapien blusters through the chorus, asserting again and again that “hey, I do it different.” This is, of course, both obvious and an understatement. The stubbornness with which Del has gone his own way throughout his career borders on obsessive and yet it has worked for him. His last great classic was Deltron 3030, and it came out 12 years ago.
There’s a curious inverse trajectory in the careers of cousins Del the Funky Homosapien and Ice Cube, which has seen the irascible AK-toting gangster morph into the genial star of family comedies, while Del, always more Native Tongues than N.W.A., has begun adopting a strangely hostile style of brag-rap. However he’s choosing to spell his name at the moment, Del can generally be distinguished from his rough-talking relative by his relaxed funkiness, so it’s admittedly strange to hear him exchange it here for bluster. Parallel Thought seem to be at least partially implicated.
Del the Funky Homosapien was an omnipresent force in the early ‘90s alternative hip-hop scene. Although his own LPs were few and far between, Del was always slinging guest verses, appearing on records by the likes of Souls of Mischief, The Coup, and Gorillaz. His articulate flow was recognizable—iconic, even—and he built a following by mining the fan bases of his contemporaries.