Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Del The Funky Homosapien - Golden Era 2xLP


The Council (2011) 

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 twenty-five plus 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.

It's probably pretty obvious that Del The Funky Homosapien is my favorite MC of all time.  I'm constantly extolling his virtues and have been doing that since I was in the eighth grade.  He was particularly influential for me in 1993 when No Need For Alarm came out while I was in high school.  As such, he has been one of the very few artists that I have kept close pretty close tabs on since the golden era of hip hop.  

That's not to say that I've been able to stay right up to date with everything he does, in fact I have another LP of his on his way to me that I was unaware of until pretty recently, despite it being released over a decade ago.  But, I was very aware of Golden Era when it came out in 2011.  But, I opted to purchase a CD version when it first came out.  The Golden Era triple CD set also included two additional albums that had previously been digital only; Automatik Statik and Funk Man.

When I decided that I needed to add the vinyl to my collection (which doesn't include those other two albums), it had gone out of print and became difficult to track down.  I've been keeping my eye out for it and I was pretty psyched to be able to pick it up for $20 off Discogs a few weeks ago.

As far as the album goes, it's one of my favorite Del full lengths, particularly over the past twenty years or so.  I typically like everything Del releases, but sometimes the beats aren't exactly what I'm looking for.  That is definitely not the case with Golden Era.  The beats are full sounding, upbeat and really harken back to the sounds of the Golden Era that Del is referencing with the album title.

In particular, "Double Barrel" may be the best Del track I've heard since "At The Helm."  It has a similar driving drum rhythm giving Del a straightforward beat to weave his lyrics through.  I've always thought Del works best in this arena.  Rich, full beats that are steady in their tempo.  That lets Del create the dynamics with his lyrical flow, coming slightly off beat here and there only to reconnect and make it make total sense a few bars later.

There's a reason I think Del's the best and a lot of that is on display during Golden Era.  While I'll always recommend No Need For Alarm as the best place to start with Del, if you're looking for something of his to sample that's a bit more recent, this is a great album to try out.

Del The Funky Homosapien - Golden Era:

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