Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Del Fresh Co?

You really make me sick with ya fraudulent behavior
you're gonna make me flip and then an army couldn't save ya...

Tuesday's highlight release is Eleventh Hour by Del.

When we found out that Del The Funky Homosapien had found a new home on the Def Jux label, I was instantly brought back to Del’s last solo offering, 2000’s Both Sides of the Brain. The stand out track on that joint was easily “Offspring” with Def Jux head honcho El-P. The prospect of Del, coupled with the Def Jux sound for an entire album was intriguing. However, Eleventh Hour bares no resemblance to a typical Def Juxie; no scattered and complicated beats, no Cage/Aesop/Breez Evahflowin cameos, no thesaurus utilizing lyrics.

Some might say that’s a good thing. Del, the Bay Area legend, forgoes the usual Def Jux formula to produce a sometimes funk-driven album that is pretty tame lyrically and a bit too tame musically. As a whole, it is an easy listen, as Del still offers a smooth lyrical flow and style.

Del takes on production almost exclusively by himself, which seems mainly focused on bounce driven beats and minimal composition (witness the average lead single, “Workin It.”) The first two tracks, “Raw Sewage” and “Bubble Pop” are nice tracks which fit the all-too-familiar rail versus the current state of Hip Hop that many older artists subscribe to.

Del goes nearly the entire album without any guest appearances (the entire Hiero crew is absent throughout.) Ladybug Mecca (yes, the same one) shines on one of the album’s strongest tracks “I Got You.” The very last track, “Funkyhomosapien” is the strongest of the bunch, with a “Catch a Bad One”-type bass line and a heavier feel, in which the sample “what is a homosapien” is asked throughout. If you’re looking for something like past Del triumphs, this “homosapien” is vastly downgraded.

***CHECK IT: "Workin It"

***CLASSIC MATERIAL: "Catch a Bad One"

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