Del – No Need For Alarm

Del Tha Funkee Homosapien released his second studio album “No Need For Alarm” on November 23, 1993.  The album was produced by various producers including Del, Snupe, Casual, Domino, SD50’s, Jay-Biz and A-Plus.  The album was released on Elektra Records and is considered one of the best “Hiero Golden Age” albums recorded.

When I first picked up this album, I had heard one track and I knew this album would be better than the first.  I remember going to Tower Records in West Covina and buying the album.  I opened up the cs to find the cd was cracked in half.  I immediately returned it and the next 2 copies were also cracked.  Finally on the fourth try, I got a complete copy and thought, “This must be a bad sign”.  I popped in the cd and after listening to the first 6-7 tracks, I was not happy.  I felt that the production was not all that because I was comparing it to the first album.  After a while, this album grew on me.  Yes, both albums are different sonically, but this is the album that defines who Del and the Hieroglyphics truly are.

The first single off this classic LP is “Catch A Bad One” where Casual takes a jazzy angry guitar bass groove from Eric Dolphy’sMrs. Parker Of K.C. (Bird’s Mother)” and gives it that Tribe/De La vibe for Del to flow on.  After a while, you are amazed that a cat from Oakland can flip it without being gangster.  How stereotypical can we be?

I get juiced when I let loose a little of my cleverness
Open up my follicles with no mousse
Choose your weapon, you kept steppin
You’re swept in a hurricane, Del’ll blow your brain
So your next generations of youth will be facin the truth
And the truth is I’ll leave you with the loose tooth
Gums get split if you bit
I’ll extract the truth out your ass like I’m standin in the pulpit
Or a lie detector wrecked ya sector, when you’re standing
I can swing, branding, expanding, on what I’m handing
To the people, cause we will, and you can’t say
A damn thing about it, if you doubt it
You’re already outta line, so let me remind your behind
About the switch which I used to bruise your bottom
That little nigga tried to cut, I caught him
He didn’t think that I would see that
So be that, and be off the D cause we rap
We sap the strength and lap the length around the whole course of time
And still got the time to unwind

The Jazz influenced beats continues on “Wack MC’s” where Del absolutely kills it on the second verse where his cadence will make you say, “this dude’s flow and wordplay is bananas yo!”  It’s one of those tracks where you have to listen to it to try to understand what I’m trying to say and I haven’t said shit yet!

I cannot stand a WACK M.C
So step back if you please
And don’t test me, you’re history
I cannot stand a WACK M.C
So step back if you please
And don’t test me, you’re history
You’re jealous, overzealous, Del is spectacular
In fact, you are wack and far beyond dope, be gone—NOPE!
You gets no respect, I pose a threat
‘Cause you’re wack and weak, in fact you tried to freak
“Groove Me”, it was used before
You need to choose a more appealing sample
I seal and stamp fools like mail, you’re quite stale
You might fail and I know you’re paranoid
Beware, avoid Funky Homosapien
Monkeys I will make of men
Take ’em into custody your style is rus-ty!

The title track uses a dope sample from “Flat Backing” by Blue Mitchell with a vocal sample courtesy of Masta Ace on the hook.  That voice that Del possesses and the way he can dance over beats lyrically is a reminder of how dope Del is and yet so slept on.

I wait to see your skull vibrate
When I bury the hatchet, I hope you catch it, I’ll attach it
To his focus, when I broke his head in half
Feel the wrath, on my behalf
I drop math, and english, leave you squeamish
Then I squish your wish you’re all fuckin dreamers (alla y’all)
No time for tiddlywinks – if your titties is pink
Then you are white and I’m not the right man (not for me)
But you can blow pipe, my style is so tight
I be carvin, MC’s when I’m starvin (I’m hungry)
You little chunks of punks that I dunks in my coffee
Get off me, I’m not your softie

One of the last times we heard from Kurious (Jorge) was on “Boo Boo Heads” but unfortunately we don’t gt a verse from the Puerto Cuban MC.  I guess after listening to Del spit lyrics with fire underneath ever word, Kurious just bowed out.  It would’ve been nice to listen to him spit some bars to give us a east meets west type of hype.

Back in elementary school
You made me drool
I was cool
& rules were never broken
A token
Of our friendship
All my friends flippin’ somersaults
The fault was not yours
Of course, they didn’t know, yo
Grils was yucky
Clear ’round & get slapped like a puck-y
But you never said ‘Phuck me’
That wasn’t in the pictua
I couldn’t hit ya with ya hair & braids
And the games we played
Were fun
Till one day a friend said
‘Boo boo heads turn red, in the face
When you place
Ya hands on her ass
In class, and give a spank

You’re In Shambles” continues the lyrical barrage where even though the beat is nice and slow, it feels like Del is rapping a mile a minute.  The wordplay is once again unbelievable and after listening to this album in it’s entirety,  you start to slowly admit that this guy is one of the greatest MC’s in Hip Hop history.

I’m the monsta’
Come on in closa’
I’ll roast ya’
Not never worried ’bout competition
Listen
I can twist men
Into pretzels
My jet skills, can outrun
Cause it’s fun
I’m not done
One or even two could even try
It’s not a even try
I’ll leave ’em, why
Did you do it, I’mma school kids and tease ’em and please ’em
For the treason
That’s the reason
I’mma squeeze ’em
Make ’em tell
And make ’em dwell
They’re not dead
I got lead, but I won’t use it
I’ll refuse it
Cause they’re losin’
I’ll be merciful
I won’t hurt the skull, with the hollow tip
I’ll make sure they follow tips, that I tell ’em
I won’t spell ’em, out
They’ll shout, in horror
Cause they saw a metamorphis
I’mma force kids out the galaxy

Other tracks like “Wrong Place” and the posse cut “No More Worries” featuring A-Plus, Casual and Snupe will have you giving this album nothing less than a 4.5 on the 5 mic scale.

The era that brought us Tha Alkaholiks,  The Pharcyde, Souls of Mischief, Casual and of course Del, where ll from the same coast changing the perception we have of west coast MC’s.  They were far more lyrical than the regular “gangster rapper’ and had a more poetic approach towards lyricism.  To me, Del was the greatest MC from the Heiro crew and can easily be considered one of the greatest MC’s of all time no matter what coast you are talking about.  This album though, is his best in my opinion.  That’s what you get when do things your way without the help of family members already established in the rap game.  Cube gave him his start, but from there, it was all Del and the Heiroglyphics!

-Al E.

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