Release Date: Apr 19, 2011
Record label: The Council
Genre(s): Rap, Alternative Rap
Despite its well-documented tendencies toward brand-name fetishism, programmatic bling, and all manner of ridiculously conspicuous consumption, hip-hop culture is nowhere near as concerned with conformity and boundary maintenance as many musical traditions are. (Want to get in a real fight? Start a conversation with some bluegrass musicians about what constitutes "real" bluegrass. ) Hip-hop is, in fact, quite a big tent, and that fact has made it possible for any number of eccentrics and even borderline maniacs to make a comfortable living while challenging virtually everything that hip-hop has traditionally been thought to stand for.
Del the Funky Homosapien’s (or tha Funkee Homosapien, depending on whom you ask) journey through Hip Hop has been an interesting one. His early career included debut album I Wish My Brother George Was Here, a release whose commercial success did not match its critical acclaim, as well as various writing collaborations with cousin Ice Cube. A highly-regarded collaboration with Dan the Automator and DJ Kid Koala, Deltron 3030, led to show-stealing cameos on the Gorillaz’ self-titled debut, firmly entrenching Del as a cult favorite.
Del the Funky Homosapien's always gone his own way. After all, here's a guy who was set to become a pop star in the early 1990s with the playful proto g-funk of 1991's I Wish My Brother George Was Here. A guy who then purposely abandoned that trajectory in order to burrow deep into the underground with Oakland's Hieroglyphics crew. Who then came back at the peak of indie rap's turn-of-the-millennium popularity with Deltron 3030 and Gorillaz, two of the era's biggest crossover smashes.
Del the Funky Homosapien is a living underground legend in hip-hop. Two decades into his career, Del is still putting in work and his latest release, Golden Era, is one of the most aptly titled albums you’ll hear this year. Everything you would expect to hear is present—laid back, jazzy beats, a throwback vibe, and Del’s signature effortless flow.