Del Tha Funkee Homosapien

With Casual/Souls of Mischief. Monday, October 13, at the Grog Shop.

Del got his start in da Lench Mob, backing his cousin Ice Cube, but Tha Funkee Homosapien's no common gangsta. Rocking an old-school flow notable for its speed and concision, Del brandishes humor as his weapon of choice, reminding us of the days when NWA's "Gangsta, Gangsta" was more joke than pose.

Whereas Cube helped found the thuggin' 'n' illin' wing of rap, Del pioneered the West Coast underground predating Freestyle Fellowship, Pharcyde, and Tha Alkaholiks, while employing the same G-Funk sound beneath his witty, irreverent raps, such as "Mistadobalina" and "The Wacky World of Rapid Transit," off his stellar debut, I Wish My Brother George Was Here. He's remained one of the most innovative rappers in the biz, with dictionary-fueled diction and a futureworld outlook, best evidenced on his collaboration with Dan the Automator and turntablist Kid Koala on Deltron 3030, the best rap concept album of all time. He also joined the Automator on the Gorrillaz' debut, lending vocals to the hit "Clint Eastwood." Del left the G-Funk sound behind long ago and, together with his Heiroglyphics crew of Casual and Souls of Mischief, more resembles Prince Paul in his genre-bending eclecticism -- but with a better sense of humor.