"Alright this is D-E-L, and I'm calling from 3838 [unintelligible] Way, yeah I just wanted to call to say 'F*ck the radio!'" And so began the unpredictable, uneven, but ultimately fruitful career of Del tha Funkee Homosapien. This unlikely introduction came at the end of "Turn Off the Radio," from his cousin Ice Cube's first solo album. When Del the lovable ragamuffin's first Ice Cube-produced single was released later on, in early 1992, most expected a junior version of Ice Cube -- but what they got was something pitted between that hard-edged funk sound and party-down, proto-backpacker indie rap. From this one song -- and the equally silly video that accompanied it -- it was plain to see that Del would not be dealing in the kind of vicious material mastered by his cousin and his former crewmates in Da Lench Mob. The friend who would not leave and front-porch golden-shower revenge were his domain, not white devils and spraying AK-47s. As debut album I Wish My Brother George Was Here swelled in stature after release, Del's path took a few twists and turns, but this set for Rhino -- somewhat mislabeled as a best-of -- sticks with the MC's time spent on Elektra. This includes most of the best moments from George and 1994 follow-up, No Need for Alarm, making it valuable for those who haven't been able to track them down. However, those who have followed Del all along should also take note; this set also contains a small bounty of B-sides, most of which are of some import. A few extraneous remixes make the set drag -- and, boy, that Judgment Night collaboration with Dinosaur Jr. should never leave its point of origin -- but it's still a win-win situation for all of those involved. The package scores bonus points for its informative liner notes, not to mention the shout-out to borderline-genius writer Kodwo Eshun.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman