Del tha Funkee Homosapien 11th Hour

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As anticipated as the new season of Lost, Del’s fourth full-length comes from alt.rap powerhouse Def Jux, yet 11th Hour features none of the label’s usual suspects, and apart from one track by Opio, Del’s Hiero brethren are conspicuously absent as well. So it’s pretty much Del’s baby–luckily, everyone’s favorite funky Homo sapien has been boning up on music theory these past eight years, resulting in a tighter, more focused sound. As a lyricist, Del’s potential has always been scary; now that he’s firmed up his production chops, it’s downright devastating–fewer quizzical non-sequiturs, more “Naked Fonk.” Already a legend, on 11th Hour, Del takes a bold step toward complete mastery of the hip-hop art form.