Del the Funky Homosapien

Future Development

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Sort of a stop-gap cassette-only release (available exclusively on the Hieroglyphics web site) between Del's two original major-label albums and his first independent release on Hieroglyphics' own Imperium label, the optimistically titled Future Development (which also acts like a promise) doesn't show any signs of negligence. Nothing here is tossed off or given inattention. What does seem different about the album is that its themes are less serious, more rock-a-party, in the old-school sense: hanging out, scoping girls, making rhymes, telling stories. Instead of the observational seriocomedy of his debut and the acid-psychedelia of the follow-up, Del has lightened the load on his space-holding unofficial third release. Elements of urban commentary and acid dementia (especially the former) are still present, but they seem less front-and-center. As such, the album is less coherent than his previous two albums and less immediate-sounding without being immaterial. The characteristic Funkee Homosapien presence is still apparent, and it is impossible not to find something inviting about it. Del's voice really does recall his cousin Ice Cube's deep Southern drawl, but instead of an audible chip on the shoulder, Del is buoyant and fun and, not least of all, lyrically dexterous. He brings the West Coast funk, too-loping, low-end heavy, Saturday-afternoon summer funk -- and, as with all things Del, it comes out mutated, alien, and just plain different that anyone else's hip-hop production, but in this case, far less manic than usual. The affect is a smiling sort of somnolence, almost to the point of jazzy, chill-out hip-hop. Instead of internalizing the stress of the world, Del chooses to "Stress the World" this time around, taking a quick break before he proceeds his future development.

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