In 2001, the hip hop/ alternative rock animated band Gorillaz released their self titled album.
The breakthrough single, Clint Eastwood, and it's obscurely dark music video, depicted a gargantious ghostly
rapper- Del. Teren Delvon Jones, younger cousin of acclaimed rapper, Ice Cube, better known to the underground
hip hop community as Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, is essentially an enigma to the casual hip hop listener.
His baritone delivery of cynical, yet intelligent (and often counterculuture oriented) are alchemistic and
abstrusive, to say the least. Combining spacey, abstract beats and synth melodies with a rather intellectual,
but freewheeling and sarcastic tone, makeup one of the most bizarrely approachable hip hop artists in the modern day
underground rap scene. And all of this was made possible because of mere guest appearances. But nearly an entire year earlier, Del Tha Funkee Homosapien released his fourth solo album- Both Sides of the Brain- an intelligent, almost scientific, yet cultural barrage of spitting, fiery rhymes that attack nearly everything.
Both Sides of the Brain can be summed up as the epitome of Del's rapping style and technique. As already said, Del has a certain quality to his delivery and tone that make him completely unique to any other rapper. He has a blatant sardonic social standpoint, that lacks the carefulness of social precautions. Lyrically,he addresses social, political and national issues, ranging from the miniscule controversies of southern California, to the federal scandals that have torn the nation- all of which, he seems to lack respect for. His voice is boomingand deep, while his lyrics are a barrage of counterculture cliches, controversy, and bare boned, stripped down disaproval for the stereotypical way of life that haunts the American suburbia. Del takes full advantage of the racial cliches and today's social voluntary segregation, by addressing every ethnic clique with profanity, which can be simultaneously viewed as racial hatred, or social hip hop genius. Profanity and double sexual entendres adorn the seventeen tracks, furthering Del's cynical standpoint and relatively dark outlook on life.
Musically, Both Sides of the Brain is a juxtaposition of every hip hop beat and synth that one could want. Between offbeat and complex hihat shuffles with frequent snare hits on the beats, droning synthesizers (Pet Peeves is a phenomenal example of how droning it can be), the frequent, sketchy and slippery scratching, and the phunkee, booming bass, Both Sides is essentially a "hip hop's greatest beats and melodies". He fully utilizes an array of percussion instruments (glockenspiel, marimba, and a vast collection of drums included), and expirements with different synth settings, ranging from strings, fluid electric organ, and some bizarre instruments- making Del one of the most expiremental MC's of the underground. For Del at his most creative, as well as abstract, check out the peculiar BM's, the droning Pet Peeves, and the kazoo laden Skull 7 Crossbones. Surely, (Don't call me shirley. OMFG airplane!!!11) Both Sides of the Brain is an entertaining and trancing listen that will probably introduce new listeners into a whole new realm of hip hop music.