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Del fails to stimulate with Funk Man

April 4, 2009

Once the posterboy for backpack rap and an awesome alternative to gangsta-style West Coast hip hop, Del The Funky Homosapien has now struggled to deliver the exceptional content for longer than he made it.

Del remains ludicrously verbose and one of the smartest voices in the game. And Funk Man has no shortage of clever turns of phrase and old-school bombasticism.

“Open up your blinds/And let the light shine through/It’s Del with the IQ/Of Einstein the final/Equation …” Del offers on album opener “Get It Right Now,” one of the strongest tracks in the so-called “stimulus package.” As the album slogs on through an endless swirl of too-long tracks, Del’s one-of-a-kind flow becomes dilluted.

Funk Man is offered as the recession special price of free. While there’s no uniting message of frustration or fury regarding the economic funk this country has already been in too long, Del does offer some comic relief, as is customary on all of his joints.

On “Smellin’ Myself,” Del informs us of his armpit status, “It’s the African funk/Fresh from the motherland/Better than the other brands/On the other hand/You be the judge/Tell me how you feel about it.” Sure thing, dude.

0904delHis high-water mark remains 2000’s Deltron 3030 created with production by Dan The Automator and Kid Koala. On Funk Man, Del does most of his beats and it shows. The pounding of synth loops over and over and over again creates a hypnotic effect that probably dulls Del’s mighty rhymes.

Along with “Get It Right Now,” the guest-produced “Simple Satisfaction” and bookend “Young Adrenaline” make up the first disbursement of this stimulus package, which is available free for download along with a good chunk of Del’s recent discography on his Web site.

While disappointing on the whole, it’s always a pleasure to hear from Del. He tends to disappear for years when he goes underground. And, it’s good to know somebody’s got our back in these difficult economic times.

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