I Wish My Brother George Was Here (2xLP)Del Tha Funkee Homosapien
In the early 90s hip hop took a turn and gangsta-style rap dominated, making waves off the West Coast that rattled throughout the world. The East Coasts dominance was descending despite the success and positivity of Native Tongues acts like De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest, who favored thought-provoking humor and cleverness over gangsta raps grittiness and grim outlook. It was in this landscape that Oakland, CAs Del The Funky Homosapien emerged in 1991, with his debut release I Wish My Brother George Was Here.
Cribbing equally from the East Coasts irreverence and wit, and the West Coasts P-Funk inspired production, (the album was produced by Dels cousin Ice Cube) Dels debut has rightly been heralded as a benchmark album for underground hip hop. Wish My Brother George Was Here not only produced the underground classics Dr. Bombay and Mistadobalina (#9 on the 1992 Hot Rap Tracks Charts), but also set the scene for the success of the other less gangsta West Coast artists like The Pharcyde, Digable Planets, and of course Dels compatriots in Souls of Mischief. Above all else, Del is credited with injecting some much needed light-heartedness at a moment when it was truly needed.