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Top 100 Artists of the Decade: #26 Del tha Funkee Homosapien

 

The Top 100 Artists of the Decade list will be posted over the course of 100 days. On September 23rd, we will post one artist and continue every day until December 31st, when we will unveil our #1 artist of the decade!

Please read our introduction to learn about our nominating and ordering process.

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#26 Del tha Funkee Homosapien

Del tha Funkee Homosapien's associated acts starts to read like an intro to "real hip hop" for the uninitiated (see: radio-obsessed). When Ice Cube is your cousin and the album with him was the least important thing you've done, you know you're probably getting somewhere: he's got credit for Hieroglyphics, Handsome Boy Modeling School, Deltron 3030 and Gorillaz in his grip, next to a five-spot in the solo albums department. Take that list to your local independent record store and you'll walk out on a path to hip hop enlightenment.

So why is he so fresh? He's elevated himself by embracing a quirky, lighter style (he doesn't float above the crowd because he thinks he's got an angel's wings – it's multicolored balloons lifting him up). The projects he takes on laugh in the face of convention. Handsome Boy Modeling School is essentially a parody of pretty, vapid people. With Gorillaz, the group that infamously never shows their faces, he's a cartoon ghost who possesses (and is eventually exorcised from) one of the other MCs. Deltron 3030 (with Dan the Automator and Kid Koala) has nerd-core written all over it – an ode to science fiction, a valiant battle against a futuristic police state, and a whole host of computer references. But he never tells a joke without some seriousness behind it: as the chorus of "Upgrade" goes, "upgrade your gray matter, 'cause one day it may matter…" Yes, there you go: Del's one of the strangest MCs out there, but not at the expense of his intelligence. And his output is one perpetual urge to follow his lead: "synopsis - you want to top this? Reach to it." It's lonely at the top, but if anyone wants to join him you're more than welcome...

[ play ] | [ download mp3 ] Del - Bubblepop

[ play ] | [ download mp3 ] Del - Times Up

Check back tomorrow for the next artist! To see the full list of the Top 100 Artists of the Decade, click here.

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