Deltron 3030 Album Cover
What makes a great hip-hop album? The beats? The flow? The wit and humor of the MC? Or is it the shoes? “Yo, Money! It’s gotta be the shoes!”
I do not claim to be a hip-hop pundit but I know what a great beat supplied by a DJ and a skilled MC can do when the vibe (& crowd) is right. And, yes. It is sooo exhilarating when one experiences just that.
Honestly, what is considered hip-hop and/or Rap these days is a burning dung heap. And I suppose that this is why finding a sweet, well-produced, well executed piece of hip-hop excellence makes trudging through the burning dung heap that is the modern hip-hop/rap genre all worth it…kinda.
Side Piece: My hip-hop intro was catching a few minutes of The Message by Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five in the locker room of Long Beach Poly before we had to get back on the field for the afternoon football practice. It must’ve been at least 102 in that locker room. I distinctly remember we were all told that the AC would be down for the day. I swear at that point, just one mouthful of ice-cold water would have seemed like a gift from The Creator himself. But no. We were filing out of the offense locker area. And as we passed by the defense, this cool new song was blasting out at concert-level volume: “It’s like a jungle sometimes/It makes me wonder how I keep from goin’ under.” BAM! BING! ZOOM!
The first thing that grabbed me was that this song was unlike any other I had heard to that day. In retrospect, it was the polar opposite of Rapper’s Delight by The Sugar Hill Gang. Whereas The Sugar Hill Gang rapped about “goin’ on and on, until the break of dawn”, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five were concerned with “Broken glass everywhere”. From there, I was all in. I liked the brash, proud voices coming out of the speakers. They sounded way too cool for the likes of a lowly white boy. As I grew with the genre, I liked the way a DJ was able to take a classic track like When The Levee Breaks and make an entirely new song out of it.
I will admit that I am a bit late to this party (Release Date: 5/23/2000). Until a few weeks ago, I was not aware that this album was available for my listening pleasure. But when I got ahold of that disc, I could not get it out of my head. Or…keep my head from bobbing on my first listen to Positive Contact.
From L to R: Dan The Automator, Del Thee Funky Homosapien & Kid Koloa
The production value is lush and lively. Dan The Automator/Kid Koala/Del Tha Funkee Homosapien take us all on a trip to the year 3030. And things are far from copacetic. Call it (in regards that the original tracks were recorded in the year 2000) joyfully pre-apocalyptic. And HOLY FUKK! The whole Y2K bug tension and delirium squats its firm buttocks on the psyches of all the core cast and squeezed reeal hard as they created these jams. Absolutely Palpable!
Basically, Deltron30 is (I’m assuming) a superhero whose main aspiration in life is to take out the “New World Order”. But the other songs are like looking into their collective crystal balls and relating what they see. And just how really, really, seriously, ridiculously fucked the future is. The beats are amazing. Del The Funkee Homosapien was the correct choice for this project. His voicing and phrasing are the peas to Dan The Automators’ carrots.
Yet the real genius that beams from the grooves of this disc is that it predicts the future. Personally, I would not be surprised if Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot creator) was inspired by the seventh track entitled, Virus. The line: “I wanna devise a virus/Trash your whole computer system and revert you to papyrus/Crush your corporations with a mild touch.” made me think of Eliot Alderson, F Society and White Rose.
That is just one example of the depth that Del, Dan and Kid Koala bring to the table. The album, as a whole, makes you want to think too much while shaking what ya mama gave ya is a rare thing indeed. Del is truly an MC (if not THE MC!) and not just a rapper. Kid Koala is a board-certified surgeon on the wheels of steel. And Dan The Automator is the maestro of the cooolest philharmonic orchestras that ever existed.
I could go on and on. But through recent experience, I now realize just how short the average adults’ attention span actually is. And it really saddens me that I have to close this article with that. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for making it all the way to the end.
Now I’m done.