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Del The Funky Homosapien
Eleventh Hour
(Def Jux)

It’s been nearly eight years, but finally Del the Funky Homosapien is back. Sure, he’s put out guest verses on occasion, and he released a second great Hieroglyphics crew album, but it’s solo Del that people have been waiting for, and Eleventh Hour delivers. On only his fourth solo album, Del has created 14 tracks that show off his mic skills and production technique. The music itself seems minimal and rudimentary, as if it was an afterthought, something for Del to merely rhyme over, and in some ways that seems true. Del has always been a classic, if unconventional MC--someone that toys with beats. He’s no different here, working his humorous battle raps in and around the beats, showing that he can dominate any style, whether it be the gansta funk of “Bubble Pop,” the robotic sounds of “Back In the Chamber,” the smooth R & B synths of “Hold Your Hand,” or the twisted soul of “Last Hurrah.” In all of these cases, Del has little to say beyond how great he is, as a person and MC, but with his style he could rap the phone book and it would sound amazing. Furthermore, as he states in “Last Hurrah,” the point is that the art itself is a statement against the larger culture and society, a means of self-expression that’s important because it exists, no matter what’s being said.

As for the music that seems so indifferent on first listen, it grows with each listen. Part of what makes these productions so great is the very fact that they were created to highlight Del. It’s a very old-school way of thinking: the songs serve the talent of the MC. Del knows why the listeners are here, for his flow. But the music takes more psychic space with each listen, becoming more important as time goes on. These tracks are actually rather incredible, a series of looped beats and disembodied instruments, keyboard and synthesizer foundations that give everything an eerie dehumanized undercurrent, and just-slightly familiar samples that keep Del tied to his West Coast funk roots. Like Del himself, the music is unconventional and timeless, and just as important to this release as the man’s vocal flow is. Hopefully, it doesn’t take quite as long for Del to bring us another great solo album.


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Thursday, July 31, 2014 All Contents Copyright © 2014 Stinkweeds Music