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Del the Funky Homosapien

Never underestimate the Funky Homosapien's impact on hip hop, especially Northern California hip hop. Del changed the way the way hip hop was recorded for some artists in the Bay Area and helped spawn what is now a thriving underground scene. Before his first album, the majority of Bay Area hip hop mimicked the style of the legendary Too Short and various other gangstas and thugs. Subject matter generally concerned such enlightened topics as pimps and hos, bammer weed, and shooting and killing. But with I Wish My Brother George Was Here, in late '91, Del proved MCs could deliver dope rhymes about everyday situations, such as deadbeat friends crashing at your house or misadventures on public transportation (the title itself references an old Warner Bros. cartoon in which Bugs Bunny does a Liberace impression).

A founding member of the mighty Hieroglyphics crew, Del has always been something of an odd bird when it comes to recorded material in contrast to the more bragging-and-boasting styles of fellow Hiero-mates Souls Of Mischief and Casual. He's never limited himself to a single subject or production style. He has rhymed on the essence of the funk and how to tell if one is faking it, body odor, video games, people not being true to themselves, the importance of dental hygiene, and has ventured into futuristic, cyberpunkish territory usually left to industrial or jungle producers.

Del still records prolifically, as he has for the past ten years. After less than blockbuster sales of his sophomore effort, No Need for Alarm, Elektra released him from his contract, opting not to release his third LP, Future Development, which he later released independently and sold through the Hieroglyphics web site. Spring 2000 saw the release of Both Sides of the Brain on the Hieroglyphics Imperium label, and a subsequent collaboration with Dan the Automator on 75 Ark Records. Don't look for him to stop anytime soon.

On "Help Me Out," from the mega-successful Industry Records Beats and Lyrics compilation, Del offers battle rhymes full of frustration with the stale, mundane quality of much contemporary hip hop.