April 29, 2011

Del the Funky Homosapien @ Velvet Jones ~ April 27, 2011

Get Funky. Then de-funkify.

The place was packed. No room to maneuver. On a Wednesday in Santa Barbara at a HIP HOP show…. Weird.

Who knew such an underground rap following existed in SB? Only about the near 200 people at Velvet Jones this past Wednesday. Del the Funky Homosapien was the headliner of the showcase. Reigning from Oakland, cousin to Ice Cube, and the voice of the rap on the Gorillaz popular hit “Clint Eastwood”, Del has some street cred and a good buzz (figuratively speaking of course). But, true to hip hop show form, the headliner did not go on til after midnight, so we were forced (forced I tell you!) to be introduced to the local scene.

I couldn’t list the names of all the acts (Deaf Dot Electronic, Shoddy Cons, Niko Thought, Kevin Eleven, and Chalk B), or even tell you exactly how many there were (6 – including BuKu One) , but I can tell you I learned some interesting new words. Do you know what a “scrunt” is? I do. Now. But seriously, there was an old school hard rock hip hop band reminiscent of early Linkin Park, so old school it was new and fresh again. The sets were short and entertaining, with each act having their own following. It was soooo interesting – from an observational stand point. And entertaining.

Then, close to midnight, the curtains closed and anticipation weighed heavy in the air (as well and the thought “damn – I gotta work tomorrow! Bring Del on already.”) But when the curtains opened only 2 men stood on stage, neither of them Del. But they busted it! Turns out it was BuKu One and DJ Don, my new favs. They weren’t gansta; they were hilarious and entertaining and got the crowd pumped up.

Del finally came on and set the crowd off. Backed by BuKu and Don, the three just straight killed it. Luckily I had posted myself up high on a side wall, well above the crowd, so I could actually see the performance. The two rappers acted out every song, having lyric and dance offs, stopping on a gunshot (really happened), instructing peeps on how to de-funkify (You gotta wash your ass, if you must, You gotta wash your hair, if you must, You gotta brush your teeth, if you must, Or else you'll be funkyyyyyyyy). It was the easiest three dance moves of the night! So much fun, I can’t wait to sing it to my lil’ nieces while de-funkifying (my sister will really appreciate that!). Del played to the crowd for near an hour, closing it with Clint Eastwood, but only after he told us he’d be back with more new stuff.

This old school classic hip hop show was probably one of the best shows I’ve seen all year. It definitely opened my eyes and ears to a new genre and crowd to follow here in the bubble.