Del the Funkee Homosapien aka Deltron 3030 interview
Del the Funkee Homosapien aka Deltron 3030 interview
KK: Your first album was produced with your brother Ice Cube. It is entitled “I wish my brother George was here”. I was wondering, is that a reference to Jonathan Jackson who was killed when he entered a courtroom with a machine gun and demanded that his brother George, (of the black Panthers) be released from prison or is it a reference to a Looney Tunes cartoon where Bugs Bunny makes a reference to Liberace?
Del: It was in reference to a Looney Tunes cartoon which is where I got the phrase from, but in general it was a reference to George Clinton who was on that album as well as the brides of Funkinstein.
KK: So it had nothing to do with the Black Panthers?
Del: Indirectly maybe, you know I’m from Oakland I’m down with all that type of stuff, I consider myself a pretty militant type of dude but it was really a reference to George Clinton.
KK: That’s a segway into my next question, James Brown or the Parliament Funkadelic?
Del: Pretty much the same thing dude, Bootsy, Macio, Fred Wesly, Catfish-- all those cats played for James Brown earlier. Basically they left the James Brown camp and joined the Funkadelic it was the same family they just had to leave James Brown cause he was a little bit to tight with the way he ran his ship, so they got with George Clinton because he was more open minded and let them do what they wanted to do. They were in control; they were the best musicians of the late 60s and 70s. It wouldn’t have happened without James Brown that was the bomb that changed everything. After that you had Sly and the family Stones, they was out of the Bay area, they made a real big difference. Parliament Funkadelic was pretty much it and everybody was under that, but they did it.
KK: You know your funk. Steve Biko or Malcolm X?
KK: You can’t pick both.
Del: My personal hero was Malcolm X because he was from the street. He was the voice of the street. A lot of people respected him because he had been there and he could talk to them like that. He wasn’t some highly educated fool from college trying to go to the ghetto and talk to somebody, he was from the ghetto.
KK: Was Biko educated?
Del: I’m not saying who was not educated, I’m saying he was not simply a fool from the suburbs, you feel me? That’s trying to come down to the ghetto and talk to fools like that. He actually was from the ghetto, he lived the ghetto life and he changed that around. So he was able to talk to somebody from that cause he lived that experience. As opposed to somebody who wasn’t from that experience. Not saying that Biko wasn’t from that experience.
KK: In the ‘Gorrilaz’ album on the song “Dirty Harry” you played a ghost that is gunned down in Brooklyn and possesses Russel Hobbes: was that what you were thinking when you started writing the rap to that?
Del: They told me this is the character; write a song that has something to do with this theme for the character.
KK: Those were great lyrics and delivery; did you help with the composition of that song?
Del: No. The song was actually already done before they approached me; they already had a rapper doing that. Dan just didn’t really dig the rappers rap too much. Essentially since he knew that I could write the rap in like thirty minutes or so, he was like “Del can you come and do this really quick and clean it up?” That’s basically how I did it but I had no idea that it was going to bubble like it did. But dude that did the artwork for the characters was the same dude that did “Tank Girl”. I used to collect that comic book “Tank Girl” so for me it was just exciting to be working with the dude.
KK: You started your own independent record label “Hieroglyphics Imperium”, is there anything new with that?
Del: Right now ‘A plus’ is working on his new album “My last good deed”. ‘Souls of Mischief’ are working on their new album which they got ‘Prince Paul’ produce. You know ‘Prince Paul’ he produced ‘De La Soul’s’ first two albums. My boy ‘Pep Love” who is down with Hieroglyphics he’s working on a new album called “Reconstruction”. ‘Opio’ and ‘Fes Rock’ is working on new stuff. Me, I’m trying to work on collaborations, I’m trying to fool around with ‘Joy’ from ATL who is down with the ‘Dungeon Family’; you know ‘Outkasts’. Been fooling with ‘Lady Bug Mecca’ from Digable Planets’ and she’s on my new album “11th hour.
KK: You said “The labs are slave masters, the artists are slaves”, what are your thoughts on the music business, if that’s not a tip?
Del: First of all we selling music and music is not really something that we created, it’s something that we figured out how it works. It aint nothing that we actually invented. Music is here it works a certain way, we just figured out how it works. The sampling laws right now are like this, if you sample anything off the record, you can get sued twice. You can get sued by the people who actually wrote the music, usually that aint the artist because they already done gave up the rights to their music a long time ago to the record company. You can get sued again cause you actual are taking music from the record. It don’t matter how many seconds you sample, it don’t matter what you sample, if you are taking a piece of sound off of my plastic record I’m suing you, that’s what they suing you. You might as well be taking a chisel and chiseling a piece out of the f☺cking record. They try to make it seem like the death of the music industry is because all of you’ll is downloading mp3s and sh☺t. It aint about that; motherf☺ckers been dubbing records since cassette players was out.
KK: What do you think about Napster and music downloading programs?
Del: I don’t give a f☺ck man, I download my own s☺it. When I aint got my own sh☺t on the road it’s a great resource.
KK: You’re ripping your own self off.
Del: Yah if I need it. I can get on Limewire and listen to that song I need to practice tonight. I feel like if you really want the album, you going to buy it anyway. If you really want the album, you going to want the album, you going to want the cover, you going to want to buy it just to say you have it. The death of the music industry is that the industry is going to keep squeezing money out of m☺therf☺kers by trying to cheat everybody like, ‘Okay we going to keep pumping this music out and you’ll are dummies and you’ll are just going to keep buying this and we know cause we are smarter than you and we going to keep watching you do this and this is what we going to keep putting out.
KK: So Limewire is really pushing forth survival of the fittest, it gives people a choice of sampling different musicians before they buy the album.
Del: Limewire is simply a device to share things, whatever you use it for is your own business and they tell you that when you download it. Copyright infringement is a serious crime so you do whatever you want to, but don’t go trying to blame Limewire if you get arrested for trying to download some shit that aint yours, that aint our responsibility. All we doing is providing this software that is groundbreaking but you can’t sue us for that, just like you cant sue the guy who made the VCR…..The music business is tore up dude, they trying to blame everybody else for their problems, their problem is that you need to make some hotter sh☺t or I aint f☺king with you no more. They keep trying to drop the same sh☹t and everybody is getting tired of it and m☺therf☺kers cant even get into the game and be inventive cause they scared that none of you’ll are going to buy this shit. It seems like none of you’ll don’t want to buy nothing unless you coming thugged out or we fixing to shoot everybody up. Motherf☺kers be late, they’re like ‘Aww you don’t like that gangsta stuff anymore?’ Na motherf☺ker that’s been played out! You still doing that? The record companies thinking that if they still dangle that cheese they going to come out.
KK: What do you think gangsta rap is?
Del: Gangsta rap is like Disco was. There is no disco music. The place that you go to dance to music is called a discothèque. Underground sh☺t, to me, is what you’ll would call gangsta rap. Some of it is real some of it is not, but the fact is that that’s what’s getting pushed and people are getting bored with it but the record companies are slow, they don’t get it. Every now and then something comes along and it breaks into something new, which is why the South is popular, which is why the hyphened movement out in the bay is popular right now.
KK: “Gluttious Maximus”, that’s a term for booty?
Del: Gluttious Maximus is the scientifical term for ass, yah.
KK: Beautiful. Who is “Mister Bobdobalina” and why do you hate him so much?
Del: I don’t hate anybody, as a matter of fact, but the term “Mr. Bobdobalina” is actually from a ‘Monkees’ record and they had a skit on there called “zilch” and they would be repeating little phrases like zilch onomotaminzina sumthing something, it was like a little game they were playing. They were saying nothing basically and then the next dude would say nothing and they’d keep it up and I thought it was funny so I made a song based around this character; basically he’s a sucker, a wannabe. I made the song to characterize him.
KK: Didn’t you work with ‘Dinosaur Jr.’?
Del: Yah we did a song on the soundtrack for “Judgement Night”.
KK: For some reason people think musicians have the answer to everything but I want to ask you what you think about Darfur and the Janjuweed? It has nothing to do with music really.
Del: Well if it has to do with the world, if motherf☹kers getting killed up and sh☹t, that’s bad.
KK: Maybe you could write a song about it?
Del: I write a song about things like that all the time but I write songs about things that are immediate to people. I don’t really try to get hella-political; I try to keep in on a level of you and me. If I push you, you going to get mad at me and push me back. If we want to stop something like that we got to have some understanding between you and me right now, otherwise we going to be funking. That’s how I try to keep it on a personal level so people can understand what’s going on, because the small things end up being big things and that’s how we end up having these problems.
KK: Anything to say to NC?
Del: One Love. Keep listening.