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Q&A with Del the Funky Homosapien
Ain't Illegal Yet
by David Johnson-Igra on Dec 10, 2010
When major label A&R reps initially threw money at Del The Funky Homosapien, they expected him to follow in the footsteps of his cousin Ice Cube. Little did they know that Del the Funky Homosapien would venture in a totally different direction as one of the pioneers of West Coast hip hop’s creative lyricist style. As a member of Oakland crew, Hieroglyphics, as a solo-artist, and later, crafting science-fiction raps with the moniker Deltron 3030, his intricate rhyme patterns and unusual vocal projection always makes him standout.
Though he’s released several albums as Del the Funky Homosapien, most recently It Ain’t Illegal Yet, it’s been ten years since his acclaimed release as Deltron 3030. Asked in a recent phone interview with SF Station whether the a new Deltron 3030 album is coming soon, Del joked, “Maybe, maybe not.” He performs with a band at Yoshi’s in San Francisco on December 15th and 16th.
SF Station (SFS): With Deltron 3030, do you assume a different personality than Del The Funky Homosapien?
Del the Funky Homosapien (D): No.
SFS: It sounds different.
D: That has to do with the production, the choice of words, and the background I have in the songs. With me, just as Del, I’m talking more about reality, what we’re living in now. With Deltron, I’m still talking about some of the same kinds of things, but I’m putting it in a different time frame. It’s a little more fantasy involved because it’s sci-fi.
SFS: I heard Deltron 3030 has a new album coming out around next February is that right?
D: Maybe, maybe not. It’s pretty much done I just need to write all my raps.
SFS: It’s called the Event II?
SFS: I saw you’re previewing the album on YouTube, particularly, “The Planet of The Hardheaded Holograms.” What type of hologram characters have you met in your life?
D: I’ll say this, some people are just irrational and you’ll have a problem with them. You can’t speak rationally with irrational people because they’re from another world.
SFS: When something is bothering you, do you write lyrics first or talk with someone?
D: For me, when I get mad at somebody, or if I have problems, that’s a positive way that I can release that negative tension, instead of socking somebody in the face. Rap music has always been like that for me, which is what made me gravitate toward it in the first place.
SFS: Was there a point where you chose to rap rather than get in a fight?
D: No, I think that was always natural. It became a conscious decision around the time when I started studying music theory and I wanted to get a concrete characterization of myself. I wanted to brand myself a little better. Even if you had never heard of me, you could know what I was about, and so I started thinking about what I was about.
SFS: It was around that time you were ending a bad personal relationship.
D: Oh, for sure.
SFS: You said in the past, that was the reason you took a break from Both Sides of the Brain to Eleventh Hour. What were you writing about then?
D: Street shit. I don’t want to go too in-depth with the shit she did, but let’s just say she was doing some scandalous shit. I was writing a lot about those types of things.
SFS: Did you ever release that stuff on any of your albums?
D: Oh yeah! You wouldn’t know because I keep it real general. I might be talking about a dude, but I might be referring to some stuff that has to do with her.
SFS: What does your album title, It Ain’t Illegal Yet, refer to?
D: It’s a quote from George Clinton. When he said it, he was referring to thinking. You can still make your own decisions while there is time. I think a lot of people aren’t doing that right now.
Del the Funky Homosapien performs at Yoshi’s in San Francisco on December 15th and 16th. Tickets are $25 in advance, and $30 at the door. Doors open at 7pm. The performance begins at 8pm.
by David Johnson-Igra on Dec 10, 2010