Del the Funkee Homosapien (b. August 12, 1972), also known as Deltron is an alternative hip hop artist.
Del was born as Teren Delvon Jones in Oakland, California.
Del was raised in Oakland. In 1991, Del, with his cousin Ice Cube's support and with part of Ice Cube's backing band Da Lench Mob, made his first solo album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here, marking the first appearance of Del's crew Hieroglyphics. Despite mixed reviews, the album was generally well received. Del, however, was unhappy with the album, believing it was over-produced and phony. He decided to break away from Ice Cube's influence on his next album, No Need for Alarm, a break which (along with their disappointment in demos for his 3rd LP) caused the record label Elektra to drop Del's contract.
In 1998, Hieroglyphics came out with their first full length album, Third Eye Vision. This album was well received by both fans and critics. Two years later, Del came out with Both Sides of the Brain, and in 2000 he released Deltron 3030 with Dan “the Automator” Nakamura and Kid Koala, which garnered praise from critics and helped expand Del's audience. This project was particularly interesting because the CD was a work of science fiction, telling stories about life and hip hop in the year 3030.
Del collaborated with Gorillaz for two songs on their debut album, both of which became singles: Clint Eastwood and "Rock the House". In their videos he was portrayed as a ghost. Del later commented 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. As part of Russel Hobbs' backstory, the character of Del was one of Russel's friends that was gunned down in a drive-by shooting, whose ghost possessed Russel. When Del was not invited to work on the "Demon Days" album, a story was written that Del and the other spirits that possessed Russel were exorcised in 2003.
Most recently, 2003 saw the release of Full Circle, a second album with the Hieroglyphics crew. This latest album has received mixed reviews.
In 2004 Elektra released "The Best of Del The Funky Homosapien: The Elektra Years" -- without the approval of Del. 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.
Together with his crew, Del has established his own independent record label, Hieroglyphics Imperium, which primarily consists of Hieroglyphics and a few other artists with whom the group collaborates regularly.
Del’s lyrics often reflect his interests, offering humor and themes that differ from mainstream hip hop. His songs have discussed video games, bad hygiene, intergalactic rap battles, and more. In 2000, the song "Jaw Gymnastics", featuring Casual, was featured in the game Knockout Kings. In 2000, the song "Positive Contact" from Deltron 3030 was featured in the game Mat Hoffman's Pro BMX. In 2001, the song "If You Must" was featured in the game Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3. In 2003, the song "Positive Contact" from Deltron 3030 was featured in the game Tony Hawk's Underground. In 2005, the song "Burnt" featuring Hieroglyphics was featured in the game Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland. In 2006, the song "Catch A Bad One" was used in the game Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure. Also in 2006 his song "Dr. Bombay" was used in commercials for the movie Beerfest and more recently a Hieroglyphics song "At the Helm" was featured in commercials for Tony Hawk's Project 8.
Currently there is a DVD available called 11th Hour, which DVD contains some live footage, footage of him in the studio and around the house, as well as footage of him recording 11th Hour.
According to an interview with Del on the latest edition of the Hierocast, Hiero's official podcast, progress has been made on 11th Hour and the beats and the cuts for the sequel to Deltron 3030 are complete.
Del as portrayed in the video "Clint Eastwood"
- I Wish My Brother George Was Here (1991)
- No Need for Alarm (1993)
- Future Development (1998)
- Future Development was originally available (in 1998) only in tape format in Japan and on the Hieroglyphics website. It was later released to CD in 2002.
- Both Sides of the Brain (2000)
- The Best Of Del the Funkee Homosapien: The Elektra Years (2004)
- Third Eye Vision (with Hieroglyphics) (1998)
- Full Circle (with Hieroglyphics) (2003)
- Deltron 3030 (2000)
Other projects and guest appearances
- Deltron 3030 (2000)
- Deltron 3030 Instrumental Version (2001)
- Gorillaz, tracks "Clint Eastwood" and "Rock the House"
- Judgement Night (movie soundtrack), track “Missing Link” (with Dinosaur Jr.)
- One Big Trip (movie soundtrack), track “One Big Trip”
- Think Differently Music Presents-Wu-Tang Meets The Indie Culture tracks "Fragments" and "Preservation" (with Aesop Rock)
- Handsome Boy Modeling School, So... How's Your Girl? (1999)
- Handsome Boy Modeling School, White People (2004)
- Handsome Boy Modeling School, The World's Gone Mad (2004)
- The Coup, track "The Repo Man Sings For You," from "Steal This Album" (1998)
- Zion I "What U Hear", from True & Livin', 2005
- Opio of Souls of Mischief, "What's Wrong With This Picture?", from "Triangulation Station", 2005