Del tha Funkee Homosapien is an alternative hip-hop artist. Del was born Teren Delvon Jones, August 12, 1972, in Oakland, California. Del was part of his cousin Ice Cube’s backing band Da Lench Mob and made his first solo album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here, with support from his cousin in 1991. Critics and fans had mixed opinions about the album, many feeling that Del’s and Cube’s styles weren't an ideal match. Del decided to part ways with his cousin for his next album, No Need for Alarm, which allowed him to find his own style and subject matter, and also start his own crew, Hieroglyphics.
In 1996, Del was ready to release his Future Development album. However, just before its release, Del was released from his recording contract with Elektra Records. Around this same time, Souls of Mischief, Extra Prolific and Casual (all members of Del's Hieroglyphics group) were all released from their recording contracts with Jive Records. Frustrated, Del and the rest of Hieroglyphics decided to start their own record label, called Hieroglyphics Imperium. Because of the problems with Elektra, Future Development was available only on cassette via the Hieroglyphics website for a time, until its eventual widespread release on CD in 2002, six years after its proposed release date.
The mistreatment of Del & Hieroglyphics by their record labels became infamous in hip-hop circles, as a perfect example of "industry rule #4080" (record company people are shady). After Hieroglyphics' successful reemergence with their own independent label, Del & Hieroglyphics became an inspiration for some rap artists to start their own labels while keeping the lion's share of the money for themselves. Arguably the efforts of Del & Hieroglyphics paved the way for other famous independent rap labels known today, such as Roc-a-Fella Records or Rawkus Records.
In 1998, Hieroglyphics came out with their first full length album, Third Eye Vision, in which Del shined. The album was well received by both fans and critics. Two years later, Del came out with Both Sides of the Brain, and in 2001, he released Deltron 3030 with Dan the Automator Nakamura and Kid Koala, which garnered extreme praise for its combination of beats and flow and futuristic style. Deltron 3030 helped expand Del’s audience, though not quite to the commercial mainstream.
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 clown-like ghost. 2003 saw the release of Full Circle, a second album with the Hiero crew. This latest album has gotten many mixed reviews, with some people liking its originality and display of talents of the entire crew, whereas some have complained that Del was seen only sporadically on the album, acting more like a guest artist.
Del’s lyrics often reflect his imaginative interests, offering humor and themes not usually found in most new hip hop, including video games, bad hygiene, intergalactic rap battles, and more. 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" was again featured in a video game - this time in Tony Hawk's Underground. In 2005, the song "Burnt" featuring Hieroglyphics was featured in the game Tony Hawk’s American Wasteland. In 2006, his song "Catch a Bad One" was featured in the game Mark Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure.
Eight years following his last solo album, Both Sides of the Brain, in March 2008 Del released his newest solo, titled Eleventh Hour, under the Definitive Jux record label.
In 2009, Del released Del's Leak Pack #1 (download) & #2 (download) via his MySpace page. In April of 2009 he released his 6th solo album, Funk Man (The Stimulus Package). The album was released online and can be downloaded for free here. He also released a second new solo album, Automatic Statik, via his BandCamp site in September of 2009. October of 2009 saw the release of Del's collaboration with Tame One, entitled Parallel Uni-verses.