Looking back just about twenty years, Del the Funky Homosapien’s albums have been pretty consistent. His first, “I Wish My Brother George Was Here” and its follow-up “No Need For Alarm” assimilate underground thoughtfulness with humor easily surpassing Will Smith’s Fresh Prince gig and gangsterisms as a result of familial ties to Ice Cube. Getting mixed up with Da Lench Mob didn’t blunt Del’s penchant for classic laughs as “Pissin’ On Your Steps” or any skit involving a discussion of public transit points out. With success, though, the MC got sucked up into the Gorillaz and was transformed into a big deal. He toured the world with some of the UK’s most-loved rock musicians and then headed back to Oakland. Oddly enough, with that turn-of-the-century acclaim, the MC abstained from solo concerns until his 2008 Def Jux released “Eleventh Hour.” The disc wasn’t an utter bummer, but listening to the veteran at that point only made folks pine for earlier releases. The humor isn’t gone—Del still calls any foe a dummy—but referring to himself as Sir Diesel ranks as one of the lesser pseudonyms in hip-hop. His latest release, a three-disc affair collecting compositions no label would initially touch as well as the newly minted “Golden Era,” doesn’t mark the beginning of a new era, but a few moments point toward interesting changes. Always one for G-Funk-related productions, Del wades into new approaches with “Double Barrel.” There’s some metallic clanking sound counting out time behind the song, not enough to detract from the MC talking up his own skills, but odd enough to raise eyebrows. Including backing music coming off like something Anti-pop Consortium should be making use of suits this East Bay Superman enthusiast and hints at a renewed vitality. (Dave Cantor)
June 3 at the Abbey Pub, 3420 West Grace, (773)478-4408, 8pm. $18-$20.