Del tha Funkee Homosapien (Teren Delvon Jones) is an alternative hip-hop artist from Oakland, California who started his career all the way back in 1991 writing lyrics for his cousin Ice Cube’s backing band, Da Lench Mob. Funk Man is his 7th album and the first one he’s decided to give out free. His first two albums – “I Wish My Brother George Was Here” and “No Need for Alarm” together sold almost a half a million copies. Del The Funky Homosapien is currently touring the U.S. on this Funk Man tour.
Cousin of renowned rapper Ice Cube, Del began his career writing lyrics for Cube’s backing band, Da Lench Mob. In 1991, with the help of Ice Cube, Del released his first solo album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here, at the age of 18. The album was a commercial success, largely due to the popularity of the hit single, “Mistadobalina”. Ultimately Del, who was not pleased with the limited musical range of the album, took matters into his own hands, and severed his production-artist relationship with Ice Cube for his next album, No Need for Alarm.
No Need for Alarm also saw the introduction of the famous Oakland clique Hieroglyphics, whose original members included the widely acclaimed Souls of Mischief, Domino, Casual, Snupe, and Pep Love. No Need for Alarm was a bold move on Del’s part as it allowed him to develop, display, and solidify his unique style as an MC, and also helped to expose both the regional Oakland sound of hip hop, as well as the freestyle based, “golden era-97” style of hip hop being expanded at the time.
Due to touring, mundane activities, and frequent psychedelic drug use, it would be another five years before the release of his third album. About a month before the release of his third album Future Development Del received an auspicious letter from his label, Elektra, stating that his contract had been terminated.
Del’s third solo album Future Development became available in 1998. The album was only available on the Hieroglyphics website for download, and in tape form in Japan. Future Development was re-released in 2002 under the Hieroglyphics Imperium label. Del also released another collaborative work with the Hieroglyphics crew in 1998, 3rd Eye Vision, it was the Hieroglyphics crew’s first album. Two years later, Del released his fourth solo album, Both Sides of the Brain, as well as Deltron 3030 which was a collaborative work with artists Dan “the Automator” Nakamura and Kid Koala, featuring a special guest appearance by Scotty “the Great Gatsby” Beezle. Exposure from the 3030 project helped to expand Del’s fan base—the 3030 project worked well as a marketing move because the CD capitalized on the growing interest of computer technology, incorporating motifs of science fiction, telling stories about life and hip hop based in the year 3030, and infusing much of the popular internet terminology and culture in circulation at the time.
Del collaborated with trip hop-group Gorillaz for two songs on their debut album, both of which became singles: “Clint Eastwood” and “Rock the House”. In their cartoon-based videos he is portrayed as a ghost. Del later commented in an interview on the success of “Clint Eastwood” by saying to the interviewer that he actually wrote the song with the book “How to Write a Hit Song,” a book that he bought with a coupon his mother gave him. After the song went platinum he gave the plaque to his mother. As part of Russel Hobbs’ backstory, the character of Del was one of Russel’s friends that was gunned down in a drive-by shooting, whose ghost possessed Russel. When Del was not invited to work on the Demon Days album, a story was written that Del and the other spirits that possessed Russel were exorcised in 2003.
2003 also saw the release of Full Circle, the second full-length album from the Hieroglyphics crew.
In 2004 Elektra released The Best of Del The Funky Homosapien: The Elektra Years without the approval of Del. The CD only includes songs from his first two albums, along with a handful of b-sides from that era. Del was not pleased and advised people to not buy the CD, saying it was just Elektra trying to make money off of him due to his newfound fame.
Together with his crew, Del has established his own independent record label, Hieroglyphics Imperium Recordings, which primarily consists of an expanded Hieroglyphics roster and a few other artists with whom the group collaborates regularly. (…)
Del was recently seen on an episode of the MTV show MADE in Canada, where he encouraged the youth to drop-in on a mini ramp and later performing and dedicating “If You Must” to the main character. He also provided songs for the soundtrack.
[He] is currently touring the U.S. on the Funkman Tour.
Del The Funky Homosapien on Bandcamp
Del The Funky Homosapien on Wikipedia
Del The Funky Homosapien on MySpace
Del The Funky Homosapien on Hieroglyphics.com
Del The Funky Homosapien on Last.fm