Artist picture of Del The Funky Homosapien

Del The Funky Homosapien

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Press Rewind Del The Funky Homosapien 04:37
Preservation Aesop Rock, Del The Funky Homosapien, Wu-Tang Clan 02:26
Mistadobalina Del The Funky Homosapien 04:17
Boo Booheads Del The Funky Homosapien 04:36
What Is a Booty Del The Funky Homosapien 03:53
Help Del the Funky Homosapien & Amp Live 03:40
Catch a Bad One Del The Funky Homosapien 03:46
Potholes Frak, Del The Funky Homosapien 02:05
If You Must Del The Funky Homosapien 03:45
Dr. Bombay Del The Funky Homosapien 04:42

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Biography

Despite being an influential player on the 1990s underground hip-hop scene and later involved with a number of creative, boundary pushing projects, West Coast rapper Del the Funky Homosapien had his biggest commercial success when he featured on the Gorillaz hit 'Clint Eastwood' in 2001. Born in Oakland, California Teren Delvon Jones started out writing poetry at school but had his life changed when he heard Grandmaster Flash's seminal rap record 'The Message'. His older cousin went on to become Ice Cube and form the legendary rap group N.W.A., while Jones worked on early material with producer Sir Jinx before releasing his debut album 'I Wish My Brother Was Here' in 1991 when he was 18.

Adopting the distinctive nickname Del the Funky Homosapien - which resulted from his obsessive love of retro funk records - his single 'Mistadobalina' became a cult favourite and his relationship with his hugely popular cousin set him up as one of the hottest young rappers of the time. He went on to feature as a member of Da Lench Mob, but his quirky style and nerdish love of comic books, sci-fi movies and daft humour didn't fit with the polished, aggressive gangsta sound of the era, and with his collective Hieroglyphics, he helped introduce jazz samples, blissful beats and a less macho image to the scene.

His second album 'No Need for Alarm' captured this unique, lyrical sound, and his production skills and raps helped '3rd Eye Vision' by Hieroglyphics and '93 'til Infinity' by Souls of Mischief to become significant, landmark albums. As he tripped out on psychedelic drugs and experimental music, and kept his distance from the violence and the gang culture that was reaching its peak, he worked with producer Dan The Automator and DJ Kid Koala in 2000 as Deltron 3030. The trio came up with a rap opera, concept album which cast Del the Funky Homosapien as an interplanetary rap soldier living in the year 3030 and battling to save the galaxy, featuring a diverse range of samples from French classical music to Fleetwood Mac songs to sound bytes from TV series Battlestar Galactica.

With the sessions for that record wrapping up, Dan the Automator talked Del into delivering rhymes for the cartoon band Gorillaz that he was creating with Blur's Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewitt at the time. It resulted in Del playing the part of a rapping, drum-kit dwelling ghost, and when single 'Clint Eastwood' became a global hit and their debut album reached number three in the UK charts, Del found himself enjoying an unexpected career resurgence. He went on to release solo albums 'Eleventh Hour' in 2008 and 'It Ain't Illegal Yet' in 2010, returned to working with Hieroglyphics and Deltron 3030 and made a series of acclaimed West Coast mixtapes which sampled Fela Kuti, Frank Zappa and P-Funk and captured Del at his most unfiltered. He also teamed up with producer Amp Live on the old skool rap celebration album 'Gate 13' in 2018 and is still regarded as one of the most creative voices from hip-hop's golden era and a noted influence on the likes of Outkast, Eryah Badu and MF Doom.