Del The Funky Homosapien: Both Sides Of The Brain

Del The Funky Homosapien: Both Sides Of The Brain

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Del The Funky Homosapien

Album: Both Sides Of The Brain
Label: Hieroglyphics
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Del The Funky Homosapien

Album: Both Sides Of The Brain
Label: Hieroglyphics

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Handsome Boy Modeling School's excellent 1999 album was full of great moments, but its highlight was Del The Funky Homosapien's final verse on "The Projects (PJays)." Rapping from the perspective of a proudly shiftless, belligerent ghetto dweller, Del concluded by defiantly asserting, "I ain't even gonna finish this song, it's too long / I'm 'a sit and watch Cops in my La-Z-Boy in my thong." Such moments of audacious lyrical wit, as well as Del's well-publicized immersion in clean living and embrace of independent labels, helped raise expectations that Both Sides Of The Brain would mark an artistic peak. But while there's much to like about the album, it's a bit of a letdown. Del produced most of the songs himself, and his production work, while inventive, is largely monotonous and unnecessarily repetitive. Equally damaging is the album's lack of form and structure: Many of its tracks sound like marathon free-styling sessions no one had the heart to edit. Both Sides Of The Brain has its moments, with "Jaw Gymnastics" finding Del and Casual kicking furious verses over malevolent strings while "BM's" and "Skull And Crossbones" directly and objectively address Del's struggles with drugs and alcohol. Even better, "Soopa Feen" is the sort of darkly humorous comic-book sketch at which Del excels. But the remainder can be rough going, the work of a talented MC who would benefit from trimming some of his self-indulgence. And, for that matter, songs about bootleg Playstation games.

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