Del Tha Funkee Homosapien
Sinthesis, Bukue One (and some dude from New Jersey I didn’t catch)
Del Tha Funky Homosapien
Somewhere directly under a highway overpass next to a soup kitchen there sits a new venue you’d expect to find in a bit more metropolitan city. My first trip to The Paladium was not disappointing. It was a Latin disco last time I checked. Now it’s a live music venue with a great summer hip-hop line-up on the books. The occasion for my departure from my recent hermit-like existence was to catch my inaugural show from Del Tha Funkee Homosapien (of Hieroglyphics and Gorillaz.)
Fortunately, local openers Sinthesis and Berkeley’s Bukue One were not disappointments. Sinthesis MCs Phaust and Forest did a good job of melding some melodic/insightful flows with the backing of a live band. It’s always wicked to see people expanding hip hop beyond the limit of the traditional 1s and 2s with some strings and real skins getting banged on. If you’ve never seen such a combination, and you think you’re a hip hop fan, check these guys out when they’re at The Paladium with one of my favorite Quannum MCs, Pigeon John, on June 27th. Their song “Shoot Me,” from Movement 4:6, was a standout with a catchy hook and some nice guitar that are still knocking around my head.
Nothing says its fucking time to strap on your skate than hearing a little Reggae infused rap. Luckily, Bukue One filled that little niche missing during these last cold-as-hell months. While the venue was filling some Knuckleheads looking cat was skating around throwing a few acrobatics down. I wondered if the guy might have some herbal supplementation infusing his antics. So I waited around to see what would happen to his ass, testosteroned-security wise. His ass happened to be Bukue One so nobody gave him one word for it. Bukue took to the stage with hyper energy and salivated on the crowd with some tight reggae-permeated lines about Bush/Cheney being murderers. I always like that shit so Bukue got a gold star; and his good humored stage presence earned him a few more.
I missed the third act, but Del did not disappoint. A-Plus from Souls of Mischief/Hieroglyphics was his hype man and both guys (backed by their DJ Zack, also Bukue’s DJ, for the record) blew it the fuck up. My right ear felt stuffed for two days after the show: they literally blew it out. Del did a doozy bringing his whole catalog to bear and linking his 17-year hip hop career with head nods and perfected flow. It was like watching what it was: a true professional at work. Finally, Del insisted that the crowd raise the peace sign, something he has always been a promoter of (unlike his cousin Ice Cube) and no one begrudged him our two fingers raised in solidarity. Del left the stage on that high note only to be brought back by rabid stage thumps and “D-E-L” chants rebounding off the corners of the venue. The crowd went bonkers as “Clint Eastwood,” minus Damon Alba (a version that vastly improved on the original) brought Del back from the wings for his finale. I think there was a lot of hollering at the end but I was too busy wondering if I had permanently gone deaf in one ear to notice.