Its been eight years since weve had a good taste of Raps favorite West Coast leftfield don, Del The Funkee Homosapien. The last time he made our heads spin was with his previous solo album, 2000s Both Sides of the Brain and the futuristic collaboration project Deltron 3030s self-titled release with Dan The Automator. This time around on Eleventh Hour (Def Jux), he brings his trademark voice and spacey wordplay to a release that loses a few points in the production department.
Del starts off strong with album opener Raw Sewage where he flows over a horn-infused West Coast throwback complemented by some scratching that harkens back to the mid 90s. He quickly reminds us why he doesnt fit in to Raps currently bloated braggadocio mold, and instructs us that hes simply here for a good time (Salutations, now you face it / A real D-E-L / I dont feel bigger / Up here on stage / Man I keep it real with ya / Im here to entertain yall / Lets play ball).
Del is in his comfort zone on tracks like Hold Your Hand which has the Bay-Area MC flowing over a sunny G-Funk beat. On album closer Funkyhomosapien, Del finishes off correct when he pairs his obscure couplets with a next level beat that sounds like a cut that should have made the Deltron 3030 release. It is a perfect example of how Dels left-field subject matter and laid-back persona when combined with future-funk production results in a worthwhile selection.
If there is a bone to pick with Eleventh Hour, its that the beats could have used a shot in the arm("Bubble Pop," "Foot Down," "Slam Dunk"). Del handled the bulk of production himself; with a few assists from cats like J-Zone, Opio and KU. It remains a mystery why he didnt take advantage of the production skills available to him from Def Jux label mates El-P and Blockhead.
All in all, Dels latest effort is a great soundtrack to those lazy, hazy summer days ahead of us. Hyphy this isnt. Its a throwback/fast forward Rap attack mixed with a little crazy. Go on try it. You might just like it.
Del The Funkee Homosapien