Interview: Del the Funky Homosapien (Deltron 3030)
Published on August 28th, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
A point of stylistic order before we continue: we’ve been referring to the hip-hop supergroup’s forthcoming second album as Event II, as that’s how it’s been listed almost everywhere. However, it is stylised on the album artwork as Event 2, and indeed Del refers to it below as Event 2…so maybe that’s how it should be known henceforth.
Or maybe Rocksucker just shouldn’t be so damned nerdy about it. Anyway, onwards onto our interview with, quite frankly, one of the all-time great emcees…
Who or what initiated the recording of Event II, and why has it taken so long to arrive? Has it simply been a case of you all having so much else going on?
Dan had given me the music a while ago, it had been done. I took my time because, writing in this subject, it took me a minute to get back into that mode. I have been pretty busy but that’s just normal. Mainly I needed to get back in the future mode.
You’ve said that you see the album as being more like a rock opera than a hip-hop record. Did this inform the decision to call upon the likes of Zach De La Rocha and Mike Patton, or are these people you wanted to work with regardless?
These people are dope. Honestly, I had little to do with the features, those are Dan’s connections. That’s what makes him such a good producer – he has the resources to get the right people. That’s why he is the Automator.
How closely does the lyrical content adhere to the narrative you outlined of a dystopian future where everyone’s fending for themselves? Did you find this theme conducive to your characteristic wordplay, or did you find it a challenge to fit the two together?
Once I get my mind into that space and time, it comes pretty easy. The hard part was getting back into that space. My mind has been on something completely different and I didn’t wanna just “rap” over Dan’s beats. I had to come up with some Deltron Zero lyrics that fit the Event 2 concept.
Who did the various funny voices on the first album, the ones on “The Fantabulous Rap Extravaganza”, “New Coke”, “National Movie Review” and “Meet Cleofis Randolph the Patriarch”?
Aw man…you will have to ask Dan. Honestly, it’s been so long since I listened to it, I forgot.
(Rocksucker says: Seems we could have just checked Wikipedia all along. The voices belonged to, respectively: Prince Paul, Mark Ramos-Nishita, Brad Roberts and MC Paul Barman.)
Do you keep notes of rhymes that you think of? Are there any rhymes you’ve not yet been able to work in that you’re waiting to find a good home for?
I don’t really keep notes – I’ve been freestyling a lot of my songs. Just press record and start rappin’. That way it’s less overthinking and the flow sits on the beat way easier than having to conform my lyrics to the beat. So whenever I have a beat and I’m ready to record, I do.
Going by some video interviews with you I’ve seen, you have an impressive array of production equipment. How long did it take you to get up to scratch with it all? Did you teach yourself how to use it?
I’ve always been into computers and electronics so all of that comes second nature to me. If I’m feeling it, I’m just gonna keep at it ’til I’ve damn near mastered it.
Do you have any idea yet of what your next project or projects might be, or is it too early to say?
I have a few different things in the works. I’m working with Ladybug Mecca (Digable Planets) on something. Our group is called Beat Intel Pro.
I’m working with Dante Ross on some stuff as well.
What’s your cousin Ice Cube up to?
Which are your favourite albums by a) Parliament/Funkadelic and b) Frank Zappa?
Hmm. That’s hard to say. I like so many for different reasons. Let’s just say I like Frank Zappa and Parliament and all its affiliates to summarize.
Are there any new/up-and-coming artists who have caught your attention?
Yeah. I’m feeling Earl Sweatshirt, Schoolboy Q and Joey Bada$$ to name a few. There are more but those are who I’ve been checking for lately.
Del the Funky Homosapien, thank you.
Event II will be released on October 1st via Bulk Recording.
Deltron 3030 will play the following live dates over the next few months…
09/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ Rock the Bells #
09/15 – San Francisco, CA @ Rock the Bells #
10/08 – Boston, MA @ Paradise
10/09 – Brooklyn, NY @ Brooklyn Bowl #
10/10 – Washington, DC @ Howard Theater
10/11 – Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theater
10/13 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of the Living Arts #
10/14 – New York, NY @ Highline Ballroom #
10/16 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Hall
10/18 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue
10/19 – Chicago, IL @ House of Blues #
10/20 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/23 – Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
10/25 – Asheville, NC @ Mountain Oasis Electronic Music Summit #
11/10 – Austin, TX @ Fun Fun Fun Fest #
11/15 – Denver, CO @ Boom Fest #
# with 3030 Orchestra