Standing Erect

Del tha Funky Homosapien

It's funny. Most people have probably heard of Del tha Funky Homosapien before. While it's not exactly an easily forgettable name, they're never really sure where they've heard it before:

Remember 1991's "Mistadobalina"? You know, "Oooh, oooh, Mistadobalina"? No?

He's Ice Cube's cousin? He used to be in the Lench Mob? Nope?

He founded Hieroglyphics, the hip-hop collective based out of Oakland? Full Circle or 3rd Eye Vision? Still nothing?

Okay, fine: Del collaborated with and wrote two tracks off Gorillaz's self-titled debut. So, yeah, he's the dude you can hear rapping in "Clint Eastwood"—which, arguably, is the track that helped launch the Damon Albarn supergroup's platinum career. Ohh, right: that Del.

Things have changed a bit for him since "Clint Eastwood" got such intense airplay. The popular single was actually penned by Del after reading the book How to Write a Hit Song, which stressed music theory and the importance of originality. Well, it worked—the track went platinum, was played relentlessly by the mainstream media, and helped put both Gorillaz and Del on the mainstream map. The second track Del wrote, the horn-laden "Rock the House," was also a single off Gorillaz's debut.

But before people started dancing blissfully to the music of Gorillaz, Del had left his mark in the world of underground hip-hop, quickly gaining a reputation for his seemingly effortless, laid-back, West Coast rap constantly calling out fake MCs.

And as if that wasn't enough, the other members of Hieroglyphics have experienced their own successes with their original deliveries, beats and sampling, to the point they've become household names to any West Coast hip-hop fan—there's much more to Del than the blue-hued rapping clown ghost in the "Clint Eastwood" video. Sucka MCs might want to check out the show and jot down some notes . . . just don't bite the man's steeze, lest you end up a target in a future hit single.

Guerilla Union/Rock the Bells Presents: Del tha Funky Homosapien, Mike Relm, Motion Man and Bukue at the Glass House, 200 W. Second St., Pomona, (909) 865-3802; www.theglasshouse.us. Sat., 7 p.m. $15. All ages.

 
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