Del the Funky Homosapien I Wish My Brother George Was Here CD
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Description & Features+
Personnel: Del the Funky Homosapien (vocals).
Audio Mixers: Eric Sheda; Bob Morse .
Recording information: Echo Sound Recording, Los Angeles, CA.
Photographer: Todd Gray.
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien may be the cousin of gangsta rap icon Ice Cube, who was the executive producer on this debut, but it would be hard to imagine two more dissimilar artists. Yet, just as Ice Cube helped popularize and legitimize West Coast gangsta rap with NWA, Del helped lay the foundation for what would become California's thriving underground scene with his seminal debut, I Wish My Brother George Was Here. Predating similarly seminal debuts from like-minded artists like tha Alkaholiks, Souls of Mischief, Freestyle Fellowship, and Pharcyde, Brother George takes the Parliament-Funkadelic-derived G-funk sound popularized by NWA and spins it into exciting new directions, replacing gangsta rap's nihilism with a healthy sense of the absurd. Released while Del was still a teen, Brother George offers a take on city life that's wry and bemused rather than tense and violent, addressing such crucial issues as having to ride the bus ("The Wacky World of Rapid Transit") and shiftless friends ("Sleepin' on My Couch") with a refreshingly assured comic sensibility. Bolstered by a pair of terrific, typically irreverent singles, ("Dr. Bombay" and "Mr. Dobalina"), Brother George imbued the otherwise grim West Coast hip-hop scene with a welcome dose of irreverence, proving that you didn't have to conform to any single image to be taken seriously as a rapper. Although for the most part an endearingly lightweight effort, Brother George does address serious topics on occasion, with "Dark Skin Girls" attacking media and personal perceptions of African-American beauty with a viciousness that borders on blatant sexism. Del has accomplished much since the release of Brother George -- the Deltron 3030 album completed his evolution from smart-ass b-boy prodigy to indie rap superhero -- but nothing he's done since has quite matched the charm, fun, and sheer exuberance of his stellar debut. ~ Nathan Rabin
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