Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Del The Funky Homosapien - Future Development 2xLP


Hiero Imperium (2002, reissue)

Every Wednesday, in honor of Ed Lover Dance Day from Yo MTV Raps, I take a break from rock and roll to write a little bit about hip hop. In the late 80s and early 90s hip hop ruled my musical life. During this often called 'Golden Era' I discovered so much incredible music. As I am slowly replacing the CDs I've had for 25+ years with vinyl copies, I'm going to talk about some albums that had a really important impact on me during some very formative years.

As I have mentioned in the past, Del The Funky Homosapien is my all time favorite hip hop artist.  His second album, No Need For Alarm, was a seminal record for me and is definitely the sort of album I'd post a picture of on Facebook if someone asked me to play one of those games where I have to list the albums most influential to me.  After that album, Del was dropped from Elektra and retreated to the underground.  He reappeared in 1998 and put out Future Development on cassette as one of the first releases of the newly launched Hiero Imperium record label.

I mail ordered that album when I was in college along with the second Casual album, Meanwhile.  I never thought that Future Development quite lived up to No Need For Alarm as a whole, but there are some truly incredible tracks on this record and honestly, I like it more now than I did when that tape was initially playing in my car stereo.  I heard an interview with longtime Hieroglyphics producer Domino who said that the final Future Development record was not exactly how it was originally envisioned.  Specifically he had mentioned that the Del track "At The Helm," one of the highest highs of the first Hieroglyphics group album, was one of the songs originally planned for this third full length.

But again, there are hits on here.  Opening track "Lyric Licking" is incredible, with its pumping, low bass line and Del's unique lyrical delivery.  If the rest of the record had production like this, Del would have had another stone cold classic on his hands.  Where I think the album loses me a little is that the beats on the bulk of the album are a little softer than what I had been anticipating.  The hard hitting drums and unique samples were shelved in favor of a sound that can really only be described as mellower.  Lyrically, Del is swinging for the fences every time, and connecting way more than he misses, but it's the beats that leave me wanting more.

However, as I mentioned earlier, the more I've listened to this record over the years, the more I've grown to appreciate the things that make it different.  That, plus the fact that it could be considered the album that launched the modern independent rap scene, makes it a pretty important release in the history of hip hop.

Del The Funky Homosapien - Future Development:

No comments:

Post a Comment