Review: Del the Funky Homosapien at 2011 Westword Music Showcase, 6/18/11


The fact the Del the Funky Homosapien is still able to get up on stage and command the attention he did ten years ago is a testament to the quality of his music, the production of his beats and the impact of his lyrics. Over the course of Del's set, Del, Del the Funky Homosapien, Deltron Zero, Deltron Z, Dr. Bombay -- every one of the mastermind's personas -- was in full effect as he rapped and freestyled through tracks dating back as far as 1993.

In between freestyling over Ice Cube samples and Dead Prez instrumentals, Del worked his way through classic bangers like "Dr. Bombay" and "Mistadobalina." That last cut was given a slight makeover with Del swapping "mista" with "y'all" on the hook and emphasizing different syllables than on the recorded versions. The modified versions sounded a little forced and unrehearsed, but it was fitting with Del's improvisational approach. Not that all rappers don't improvise to some extent, but it seems so many are concerned with stage presence that they forget to have fun. Clearly this is not the case with Del. If a word doesn't vibe right with the crowd, he simply switches things up.

As good as the set was overall, there were a few moments that were underwhelming, most notably during "Clint Eastwood" by the Gorillaz. Del looked bored, and as a result, the song was boring. Also about halfway through the set, Del turned to the side and rapped head down while just kind of squatting on the stage. But beyond that five minute breather, he was all up in the face of the crowd, letting loose on freestyles or spitting fire on Hieroglyphics tracks, all of which made for an enjoyable set overall.


Personal Bias: I've seen Hieroglyphics and Souls of Mischief -- Del has been a unicorn to me for years, so finally seeing him live was gratifying. Random Detail: The scratch freestyle that took over halfway through the set was a great way to segue into "Foot Down." By The Way: Right after his set, Del was spotting signing autographs at "A Truck Named Art."

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