Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 12

Today's the birthday of the mindbending Del the Funky Homosapien, an undercelebrated artist if ever there was. His rapping demonstrates that hip-hop as an art form has not yet reached its potential (no matter how much radio music sounds like the same old...)
Here's an example which you're familiar with, if you played a lot of Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3:

He got in the game as a lyricist, writing for his cousin's group Da Lench Mob (his cousin, being Ice Cube.) In 1991, even as Dr Dre's "The Chronic" was setting the standard for hip-hop production for the next 20 years, Del's debut album "I Wish My Brother George Was Here" was charting an alternate course for hip-hop. Throughout the 90's, his audience was finding him, even as he was distancing himself from the hip-hop industry that came to be. He would eventually help start an artistic collective, the Hieroglyphs, that would be home for his music.

In 2000, he co-created Deltron 3030, a sci-fi rap opera collaboration with producer Dan the Automator.

The album featured many other artists, including British singer Damon Albarn for one track. Albarn was so inspired by the experience, he invited Del onboard to help shape the sound of his next project, the Gorillaz:

To date, it's still Del's most high-profile gig.

In 2010, he's very much the Internet-friendly independent artist; his latest album is available, among other formats, for free download off his site (for a while, anyway.)
Meanwhile, here's the song I'll be singing all day, an Arsenio Hall performance of a song he did for the Judgement Night with alt-rockers Dinosaur Jr. Here's "Missing Link":

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