There’s a good chance Del the Funky Homosapien will be the next MC to collaborate with 9th Wonder for a whole album.
When the veteran Bay Area MC comes to Carrboro to do a show this Saturday, he says he’ll swing by the local A-list hip-hop producer’s studio and lay down some tracks. It turns out Del and 9th have been friends ever since Wonder was still in the group Little Brother and they opened for Del on some tour dates. Del liked how they both shared a love for coming up with beats on their laptops, which was frowned on back in the day.
“So, he was using the computer like I was using the computer, and people were clowning us, basically,” says the Homosapien (real name: Teren Delvon Jones), 42, on the phone from his Richmond, Calif., home. “Like, ‘You make beats on the computer screen – heh-heh!’ And he ended up doing that (expletive) for Jay-Z and (expletive) shut the (expletive) up!”
Even though Del says his work with 9th may not become anything substantial, Del is still a hip-hop artist who, much like 9th, is all about getting fresh work released as soon as possible.
He certainly went that route last year when he released his latest album, “Iller Than Most.” After years of dropping music on both major and indie labels, Del distributed “Iller” for free download on his website. He appreciates that he now lives in an age when artists don’t have to go through the arduous process of getting their music released through a label.
“This is what I do,” he declares. “I make music. So, what I’ma do: sit in the house and die someday and then nobody ever hear none of the hella stuff I make? I make stuff every day, so I might as well put it out there, you know what I’m saying? The Internet, it exists now. So, I can just put it out there … So, I just do that sometimes, like the kids do.”
It’s not that Del has to drop music on his own just to remind everyone he’s still around. Being the well-respected MC that he is, Del is always called on for projects, especially by his old-pal collaborators. 2013 had him reuniting with the Hieroglyphics hip-hop clique, contributing vocals to their “The Kitchen” album. He also got back together with producer Dan the Automator and DJ Kid Koala for the space-age rap group Deltron 3030 and released “Event 2,” the long-awaited follow-up to their self-titled 2000 debut.
However, Del finds that he gets more creative and financial satisfaction on the road. He also believes that since people don’t really buy music anymore, the only way he can connect with fans is if he performs to them directly.
“They don’t believe in us no more,” he says about today’s hip-hop audience. “They don’t believe in the music no more, and I don’t blame them. So, the way I get my money, basically, is by performing. I’m not sitting pretty – I have to make my money.”
But why does Del feel that hip-hop fans don’t believe in hip-hop music anymore? He chalks it up to greed. “The industry pimped the whole situation,” he says. “That’s pretty much what it was. That’s how I feel – the average person got sick of it. ... All you fools is fake. You want your money and your cash all in my face. I’m the one that gave you that money to be able to do that. This is how you repay me?”
Hopefully, when Del is done with his performance on Saturday, he’ll get in the lab with 9th Wonder and come up with music that’ll get listeners believing in hip-hop again.
Who: Del the Funky Homosapien, with SkyBlew
When: 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Cat’s Cradle, 300 E. Main St., Carrboro
Info: 919-967-9053 or catscradle.com