Del the Funky Homosapien

Last updated
Del the Funky Homosapien
Del performing at Austin City Limits, September 26, 2008
Background information
Birth nameTeren Delvon Jones
Also known asDeltron, Sir DZL, Del, Del the Ghost Rapper, Funky Homosapien, Joe Higashi, Unicron
Born (1972-08-12) August 12, 1972 (age 48)
Oakland, California, U.S.
Origin Oakland, California, U.S.
Instruments Vocals
Years active1988–present
Labels Elektra (1991–1997)
Hiero Imperium (1997–)
Definitive Jux (2007–)
Associated acts

Teren Delvon Jones (born August 12, 1972), [1] better known by his stage name Del the Funky Homosapien (sometimes stylised as Del Tha Funkee Homosapien) or Sir DZL, is an American rapper, record producer, songwriter, and singer.


Music career

1990–1997: Early life and beginnings

Born in Oakland, California, he is the cousin of seminal west coast rapper Ice Cube, and began his career writing lyrics for Ice Cube's group Da Lench Mob. [2] In 1991, with the help of Ice Cube, Del released his first solo album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here , [2] at the age of 18. The album was a commercial success largely due to the popularity of the hit single "Mistadobalina". Ultimately Del, who was not pleased with the limited musical range of the album, severed his production-artist relationship with Ice Cube for his next album, No Need for Alarm .

No Need for Alarm saw the introduction of the Oakland clique Hieroglyphics, [2] whose original members included Souls of Mischief (Opio, A-Plus, Phesto and Tajai), Casual, Pep Love, Del, and producer Domino. No Need for Alarm helped to expose both the regional Oakland sound of hip hop, as well as the freestyle based, "golden era 90s" style of hip hop being expanded at the time.

1998–2006: Middle era

Del would not produce another album for five years. About a month before the release of his third album, Future Development , Del received a letter from his label, Elektra, stating that his contract had been terminated. [2] Together with his crew, Del established his own independent record label, Hieroglyphics Imperium Recordings, which primarily consists of an expanded Hieroglyphics roster and a few other artists with whom the group collaborates on a regular basis. Future Development became available in 1998 and was only available on the Hieroglyphics website in tape form [3] but was re-released in 2002 on the Hieroglyphics Imperium label. Del also released another collaborative work with the Hieroglyphics crew in 1998, which was also the Hieroglyphics crew's first album, 3rd Eye Vision .

Del performing in Red Deer, Alberta in 2006 Del the Funky Homosapien.jpg
Del performing in Red Deer, Alberta in 2006

Two years later, Del released his fourth solo album, Both Sides of the Brain , as well as Deltron 3030 which was a collaborative work with artists Dan the Automator and Kid Koala. With Nakamura and Koala, Del was also a guest performer for Gorillaz' eponymous 2001 album. He appeared on the singles "Clint Eastwood" and "Rock the House" (see Collaborations). 2003 saw the release of Full Circle , the second full-length album from the Hieroglyphics crew.

In 2004, Elektra released The Best of Del tha Funkee Homosapien: The Elektra Years without Del's approval. The CD only includes songs from his first two albums, along with a handful of B-sides from that era. Del was not pleased and advised people to not buy the CD, saying it was just Elektra trying to make money off of him due to his newfound fame.

2006–present: Recent years

On March 11, 2008 Del released Eleventh Hour through Definitive Jux. On March 31, 2009 Del's next album Funk Man (The Stimulus Package) was made available for free download on the internet. The album is available at his page on Bandcamp, [4] though he gave away some hard copies on his supporting Funk Man tour. In September of the same year, he released a new album, Automatik Statik , for an unfixed rate with a minimum of $3.

Del released his next album It Ain't Illegal Yet on August 6, 2010. There is no fixed price for the album, allowing listeners to pay whatever they wish for the album. Paying certain prices for the album will give certain incentives, including opportunities for personal collaborations with Del. Del released the album Golden Era on April 19, 2011 in a three-disc set including Funk Man (The Stimulus Package) and Automatik Statik .

Del shared a free LP entitled Iller Than Most on January 2, 2014. He uploaded the record to SoundCloud under the username Zartan Drednaught COBRA. He described the project as "lyrically ill but fun to listen to, nothing super heavy." Del handled the production on the project as well. [5]

In other media

Del's songs have seen frequent use in various forms of media including video games, film soundtracks, as well as skateboarding, rollerblading and snowboarding videos. In 2000 the song "Catch All This" from Both Sides of the Brain was featured in the game Street Sk8er 2, "Jaw Gymnastics", featuring Casual, was featured in Knockout Kings , and "Positive Contact" from Deltron 3030 was featured in Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX . In 2001, "If You Must" was featured in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 . In 2003, "Positive Contact" from Deltron 3030 was featured in Tony Hawk's Underground and "The Izm" was featured in Rolling . In 2005, the Hieroglyphics song "Soweto" is featured on ESPN NBA 2K5 (the Hieroglyphics crew is unlockable as a bonus team) and Del's song "Burnt" was featured in Tony Hawk's American Wasteland .

In 2006, "Catch a Bad One" was featured in Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure and "At the Helm" featuring Hieroglyphics was featured in Tony Hawk's Project 8 . Also in 2006, his song "Dr. Bombay" was used in the movie Beerfest . The Hieroglyphics song "Don't Hate the Player" was also featured in NBA 2K7 , and "Clint Eastwood" was featured in NBA 2K14 . "Teamwork" is featured on PlayStation Home. Del has had many songs featured in snowboarding movies. "Press Rewind" was the song for Eero Ettala's part in the film White Balance and "If You Must" was featured in DC Mountain Lab.

Del collaborated with John King of the Dust Brothers and Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo to produce the original score for Skate 3 , released in May 2010. In February 2016, Del, Black Thought, Murs and Fashawn recorded a new track called "Rise Up" for the video game Street Fighter V . A music video for the song was released by Capcom, and includes appearances by Del and his fellow collaborators. [6]

In October 2018, Deltron 3030 collaborated with the Cartoon Network series Craig of the Creek , with Del making an appearance in the episode "The Kid from 3030" as Deltron. The episode featured original songs by Deltron 3030 made just for the episode of the show. [7]

He has also made cameo appearances in films, such as Ted Demme's directorial debut Who's the Man? , as a teen with two members of Da Youngsta's, and Jonah Hill's directorial debut Mid90s , as a homeless bum alongside Chad Muska.


In 1993, Del collaborated with the band Dinosaur Jr. to create the song "Missing Link", featured on the Judgment Night soundtrack. In 1999–2000, Del collaborated with Kid Koala and Dan the Automator as the supergroup Deltron 3030 whose debut self-titled album was released in May 2000. Exposure from the 3030 project helped to expand Del's fan base—the 3030 project worked well as a marketing move because the CD capitalized on the growing interest of computer technology, incorporating motifs of science fiction, telling stories about life and hip hop based in the year 3030, and infusing much of the popular internet terminology and culture in circulation at the time. A follow-up album, “Event II”, was released in 2013. [8] In 2005 Del worked with the Wu-Tang Clan and their affiliates on the collaboration album Wu-Tang Meets the Indie Culture .

Del collaborated with the virtual band Gorillaz on two songs on their debut album, "Clint Eastwood" and "Rock the House", both of which became singles and videos and achieved chart success. Del was not, however, originally selected to collaborate on these songs. By the time Del came onto the project, the album was already finished, and another rapper had recorded a verse for "Clint Eastwood". But when Del finished making Deltron 3030 with Dan the Automator, Automator asked if he could stay in the studio a little longer to record new verses for the Gorillaz songs. [9] For the purposes of the music videos and the Gorillaz storyline canon, Del performed under the identity of "Del the Ghost Rapper", who was said to be a spirit that was hiding from death within the band's drummer, Russel Hobbs. Del later commented in an interview on the success of "Clint Eastwood" by saying that he actually wrote the song with the book How to Write a Hit Song, a book that he bought with a coupon his mother gave him. After the song went platinum he gave the plaque to his mother. [10] As part of Russel Hobbs' back-story, the character of Del was one of Russel's friends that was gunned down in a drive-by shooting, whose ghost possessed Russel. [11]

In 2009, Del is featured on the song "Lothar" by Sleep off his album Hesitation Wounds , as well as on the song "Dreamin'" by Gift of Gab off his album Escape 2 Mars . In March 2010, Del collaborated with independent pop/funk duo Modern Science on a track called "Do It Right Now" that is available on the band's Bandcamp website. [12] Del collaborated on the track "Smoke Rings" with The Dirty Heads on their 2012 album Cabin by the Sea . In August 2012, Del appeared on the track "The Ride" from the EP Thrift Store Halos by ¡Mayday!.

In September 2013, Del appeared on two tracks from Figure's Horns of the Apocalypse EP: "Beast Mode" and "War Call". In January 2014, Del appeared on the track "Viberian Son" with MF DOOM. In March 2014, Del appeared on the track "Life and Time" with Kool A.D. In 2016, Del was featured on the track "World Renown" with Mr. Lif's album Don't Look Down In April 2017, Del appeared (along with Carnage The Executor) on the track "Lone Wolves" from Cas One Vs Figure's "So Our Egos Don't Kill Us". In 2017, Del was a guest artist on the debut album of Halo Orbit (a band featuring Juan Alderete, ex-The Mars Volta and Mark Guiliana) on the track "One Of These Days". He also appeared on the track "Pizza Shop Extended" from the album IWASVERYBAD by Jay IDK.

Using his Deltron persona, Del guests on the track "3030 Meets the Doc, Pt. 1" from Dr. Octagon's Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation. Released on streaming services April 6, 2018, the album reunites Kool Keith with Dan The Automator and DJ Qbert. [13]

On July 7, 2018, as he was appearing with Gorillaz during the final act of the 2018 Roskilde Festival, Del fell off the stage during a performance of "Clint Eastwood". He was unable to get back up, and it was decided to cut the performance short. Although he was at first thought to have suffered only minor injuries, it later transpired that he had fractured seven ribs and punctured one of his lungs. He was still hospitalised in Roskilde four days after the accident. [14] According to his Facebook page and official website, Del was back out touring in September 2018. [15]


Solo studio albums


Other releases


Mike Relm's "Spectacle"


With Tame One

With Parallel Thought

Marcus D

With AmpLive

Related Research Articles

Deltron 3030 is an alternative hip hop trio composed of producer Dan the Automator, rapper Del the Funky Homosapien, and DJ Kid Koala. They also collaborate with a variety of other musicians under many futuristic pseudonyms.

<i>Gorillaz</i> (album) 2001 studio album by Gorillaz

Gorillaz is the eponymous debut studio album by virtual band Gorillaz. It was released on 26 March 2001 in the United Kingdom by Parlophone and in the United States by Virgin Records. The album reached number three in the UK and number fourteen in the US, and has sold over seven million copies worldwide. The album's success earned the group an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records as the "Most Successful Virtual Band", and spawned the singles "Clint Eastwood", "19-2000", "Rock the House", and "Tomorrow Comes Today".

Dan the Automator American record producer

Daniel M. Nakamura, better known by his stage name Dan the Automator, is an American record producer from San Francisco, California. He is the founder of the publishing company Sharkman Music and the record label 75 Ark.

Handsome Boy Modeling School

Handsome Boy Modeling School is an American collaborative project between hip hop producers Dan the Automator and Prince Paul. The collaboration originally lasted from 1999 to 2006 and resulted in two albums, featuring a vast cast of guest rappers, singers, comedians and DJs. In February 2018, the duo played a concert in New York City.

<i>Deltron 3030</i> (album) 2000 studio album by Deltron 3030

Deltron 3030 is the debut album by the hip hop supergroup of the same name: rapper Del the Funky Homosapien, producer Dan the Automator, and DJ Kid Koala. It was released on May 23, 2000 by 75 Ark. It is a rap opera concept album set in a dystopian year 3030.

Hieroglyphics (group)

Hieroglyphics, also known as the Hieroglyphics Crew and Hiero, is an American underground hip hop collective based in Oakland, California. The collective was founded in the early-1990s by rapper Del the Funky Homosapien. The collective is currently composed of rappers Del the Funky Homosapien, Casual, Pep Love, producer/manager Domino, DJ Toure, and the four individual members of the rap group Souls of Mischief: Phesto, A-Plus, Opio, and Tajai.

Clint Eastwood (song) 2001 single by Gorillaz and Del the Funky Homosapien

"Clint Eastwood" is a song by British virtual band Gorillaz, released as the first single from their self-titled debut album on 5 March 2001. The song is named after the actor of the same name due to its similarity to the theme music of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

Rock the House (Gorillaz song) 2001 single by Gorillaz and Del the Funky Homosapien

"Rock the House" is a song from Gorillaz' self-titled debut album. It was released as the third single from the album in October 2001. It peaked at number 18 on the UK Singles Chart. The song features a horn section loop sampled from "Modesty Blaise", a piece by British jazz musician John Dankworth. Rapper Del tha Funkee Homosapien is the only artist to provide vocals for the song.

<i>Both Sides of the Brain</i> 2000 studio album by Del the Funky Homosapien

Both Sides of the Brain is the fourth solo studio album by American hip hop musician Del the Funky Homosapien. It was released by Hieroglyphics Imperium Recordings in 2000. It peaked at number 118 on the Billboard 200 chart.

Phi Life Cypher was a British hip hop group based in Luton, composed of two MCs, Si Phili and Life MC, and DJ Nappa. The trio started making music together around 1996, and since have had much success on the UK underground circuit. Phi-Life Cypher made it to the final of Tim Westwood's Talent 2000 competition and ripping the mic on DJ Skitz's seminal posse cut 'Fingerprints of the Gods' projected them to the upper realms of the UK Hip Hop scene.

<i>Future Development</i> 1997 studio album by Del the Funky Homosapien

Future Development is the third solo studio album by American hip hop musician Del the Funky Homosapien. It was released by Hieroglyphics Imperium Recordings in 1997. It was able to achieve decent success, selling over 400,000 copies worldwide.

Russel Hobbs Fictional drummer for the virtual band Gorillaz

Russel Hobbs is a fictional American musician and member of the British virtual band Gorillaz. He provides the drums and percussion for the band. Like all the other Gorillaz band members, he was created by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett in 1998 and made his first official appearance in Gorillaz' debut EP Tomorrow Comes Today in 2000. Russel's spoken voice is supplied by Remi Kabaka Jr., who joined Gorillaz in an official capacity on actual percussion in 2016.

Damian Siguenza, known by his stage name, Domino, is an American record producer, manager, DJ, and one of the members of the Oakland, California-based underground hip hop collective, Hieroglyphics.

<i>Over Time</i> (album) 2007 compilation album by Hieroglyphics

Over Time is the fifth compilation album released by the Oakland, California-based, underground hip hop collective, Hieroglyphics. The album was released on March 20, 2007 by the group's own independent record label, Hieroglyphics Imperium Recordings.

Eric San, aka Kid Koala, is a Canadian scratch DJ, music producer, theatre producer, film composer, multimedia-performer and visual artist. His career began as a scratch DJ in 1994, rapidly growing a cult fan base due to his virtuosic skills. Ever innovating, he quickly evolved into combining turntables with analog machines and visual storytelling devices to create his signature style. Kid Koala jumps effortlessly between genres as eclectic as hip hop, ambient, alternative, contemporary classical, blues, classic rock and traditional jazz. He has released 5 solo albums on Ninja Tune, and 3 albums on Arts & Crafts Records, the most recent being Music To Draw To: IO featuring Trixie Whitley. He has also released two award-winning graphic novels: Nufonia Must Fall and Space Cadet. He has collaborated with artists such as Gorillaz, Deltron 3030, The Slew, Lovage, and The Afiara String Quartet.

<i>The Best of Del tha Funkee Homosapien: The Elektra Years</i> 2004 compilation album by Del tha Funkee Homosapien

The Best of Del tha Funkee Homosapien: The Elektra Years is a compilation album by American hip hop musician Del tha Funkee Homosapien. It was released by Rhino Records and Elektra Records in 2004. It includes tracks from I Wish My Brother George Was Here and No Need for Alarm, as well as B-side tracks and remixes. It peaked at number 35 on the CMJ Hip-Hop chart.

<i>Funk Man (The Stimulus Package)</i> 2009 studio album by Del the Funky Homosapien

Funk Man is the sixth solo studio album by American hip hop musician Del the Funky Homosapien. It was released through his Bandcamp page for free in 2009. To promote the album, Del released a video on YouTube.

Casual (rapper)

Jon Owens, known by his stage name Casual, is an American rapper from Oakland, California and one of the founding members of the alternative hip hop collective Hieroglyphics. After his debut album Fear Itself garnered both critical and commercial success, Casual went on to become one of the most prominent and recognizable faces on the Hieroglyphics roster, releasing five full-length LPs over the span of his twenty-year career. Despite the lackluster sales of the LPs following his debut, which were preceded by an absence of both critical and popular acclaim, Owens has garnered a following amongst devoted hip hop fans, particularly in the Bay Area hip hop scene, largely due to his specialization in hardcore battle rhymes.

<i>Event 2</i> 2013 studio album by Deltron 3030

Event 2 is the second album by hip hop supergroup Deltron 3030. The album was released on September 30, 2013. It is the group's first album since their 2000 debut, Deltron 3030 and a narrative sequel.

The Now Now Tour 2018 concert tour by Gorillaz

The Now Now Tour was a concert tour by the British alternative rock virtual band Gorillaz, in support of their sixth studio album The Now Now.


  1. Greg Prato. "Del the Funky Homosapien - Biography - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Hieroglyphics. "Del tha Amazing Homosapien". Hieroglyphics. Archived from the original on 2007-08-14. Retrieved 2007-09-05.
  3. Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 118. ISBN   0-7535-0427-8.
  4. "Del The Funky Homosapien". Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  5. "Listen: Del the Funky Homosapien Shares Free LP". Pitchfork. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
  6. "Rise Up feat. Del the Funky Homosapian, Murs, Fashawn, Quest Love, Black Thought & Domino". 2016-02-15. Retrieved 2015-02-15.
  7. Milligan, Mercedes (28 September 2018). "Watch: Del The Funky Homosapien Guests on 'Craig of the Creek' Oct. 1". Animation Magazine. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  8. Facebook Wall Photos - Automator and I "The album is done, Kid Koala put the final scratches/touches on it. Will probably be out sometime next year once the logistics are all figured out. Peace"
  9. "Del The Funky Homosapien Interview « Made You Look Radio". 11 April 2013. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013.
  10. "Del the Funky Homosapien Hit the Books for Famous Gorillaz Rap". Spinner. 2010-04-19. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  11. Brown, Cass; Gorillaz (2 November 2006). Rise of the Ogre . United Kingdom: Penguin. pp. 24–25. ISBN   1-59448-931-9.
  12. "Do It Right Now | Modern Science". 2011-03-01. Retrieved 2012-01-19.
  13. Mojica, Nick. "Dr. Octagon Drop New Album 'Moosebumps'". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  14. Sodomsky, Sam. "Damon Albarn Says Del the Funky Homosapien Fractured Ribs, Punctured Lung in Gorillaz Stage Fall". Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  15. "Deltron 3030". Retrieved 4 December 2019.