17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2005
Like many hip-hop masterpieces, I too slept on this far too long. Del's collaboration with Dan The Automator and Kid Koala, "Deltron 3030", was one of my favorite rap albums in the past 10 years. If I hadn't discovered that masterpiece, I would have never discovered "I Wish My Brother George Was Here". The stark contrast between the two records is phenomenal, which merits the critical acclaim both albums received. Del may be the cousin to hip-hop pioneer Ice Cube (executive producer), but the two are quite dissimilar. Ice Cube helped to popularize (not invent) west coast gangsta rap, while Del was laying the groundwork for California's up-and-coming underground rap scene. Besides, Del was right along side of Ice Cube in the studio tweaking it to perfection. This debut is undoubtedly derived from the Parliament-Funkadelic production popularized by NWA, but was spun in exciting new directions. Del can be silly, humorous, boisterous and messy, without falling prey to the violent, and rigid workings of NWA.
Del's view of city life is more laid back and observatory than that of NWA. He speaks out against the city bus system on "The Wacky World of Rapid Transit" in a humorous, but earnest way - "When oh when is the bus gonna come / Well here comes a pack of about 14 / Lookin' real mean with hoodies and jeans / And bad attitudes and I wasn't in the mood / For no head on collision with the hoods / Try to use my transfer but it's no good". "Mistadobalina" is also one of my favorites. But the one that sank it's hook into me first was "Pi**in' on Your Steps", produced by Boogiemen. I like this lyric quite a bit - "Ice is cool, but I can't stand Vanilla / because he takes a style and tries to mock it / ain't nothin' personal, G / but I'm kinda inta chocolate / it's all about the black / and it's like that / and I'm so laid back cause I smoked a phat sack". Up next is "Dark Skin Girls", which has a chorus that will definitely catch your attention (and may ruffle a few feathers) - "Dark skin girls are better than light skin, light skin girls ain't better than dark skin". Now, I think it's very clear that this is Del's preference. Especially when you consider Ice Cube's commentary in the background (disagreeing with Del), and this lyric - "this don't apply to all the girls with light skin / just the ones with their heads up their rear end". Whatever. I'm white and I "prefer" white women; nobody should be surprised if a black man prefers a black woman (apparently some are). A couple of other outstanding cuts would be "Dr. Bombay" and "Sleepin' on My Couch". The latter features some funny but very true thoughts and feelings of your "friend" crashing on your couch night after night - "Maybe this was just my upbringing perhaps / but I was taught that I shouldn't take seven day naps / at other brothas' cribs like I don't have a home / brothas' on my couch so much there's like foam / coming out the seams, and a pair of jeans is missing from my closet".
Del brings a lot to the table for his seminal debut. Everybody calls it a classic for a reason. Because it's solid, original and unique. Del isn't your average high-strung emcee to come out of the golden age of west coast hip-hop. He comes of as smooth, laid back, and intelligent. Del's vivacious personality makes this one a keeper.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2006
If you had to own at least one of his records this would have to be the one. While NO NEED FOR ALARM was my personal favorite, I will admit that overall this was better. Lyrical wise & Beat-wise he has never put out anything better. One of the best MC's from the Heiro-crew and one of my favorite MC's from the west coast in general. This LP will take you back to your B-Boy & B-Girl days and/or just help you remember again why it was you loved HIP HOP so much. Peace
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 18, 2006
Del Tha Funkee Homosapien hit the West Coast scene back in 1991, with his debut album I Wish My Brother George Was Here. Now to me, the whole concept behind this album came from left field, when I first heard this album. Probably because I've listened to all Del albums before this one, and on those albums he talks about dissing wack emcees and video games. On this album, he go the route, sort of like his cousin O'Shea Jackson (aka Ice Cube) went back in that time. Here his subject matter expanded to more other topics, like riding the bus on the song "The Wacky World Of Rapid Transit", and living in the hoods in the songs "Hoodz Come In Dozenz" and "Sleeping On My Couch". He would also show a taste of a preferance of dark skinned females over light skinned ones in the song "Dark Skinned Girls".
As for Ice Cube, his production (along with DJ Pooh) would play a standout part in this album. Like I said before, I heard all other Del albums before this one and they were mostly produced by members of the Hieroglyphics. When Cube brought some of his P-Funk into Del's album, I thought it didn't mix at first. But giving it a few more listens, it actually has a nice sounding fell to it. The songs "Mistadobalina" and "Doctor Bombay" (lead singles?) are part of the songs that would mix with the P-Funk style. Also Cube would play sort of a humorous paroody in the album, shouting out adlibs on some songs, like on "The Wacky World Of Rapid Transit" he says his car is in the shop and asks Del for a bus transfer. Or in the song "Dark Skinned Girls", Del says they're better than light skinned, and Cube shouts "I disagree with you homeboy!" telling Del to pick up a light skinned girl.
So overall this debut for Del was pretty nice. Del's rhymes mixed with some P-Funk would make this album more unique than any other album that he as recorded. If you're a fan of Del or love Ice Cube's production, I recommend this album to you. This would be the only album that he worked with Cube, before he would expand into more of the Hieroglyphics type albums. Argubuly his best album behind the more recent Deltron 3030.
Musical Vibes: A+
Favorite Tracks: Mistadobilina, The Wacky World Of Rapid Transit, Dark Skinned Girls, Dr. Bombay, Ahonetwo Ahonetwo, Hoods Come In Dozenz
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 27, 2006
Del tha Funkee Homosapien was doing underground hip hop before underground hip hop even existed. While Del is from the west coast, don't confuse his sound with other west coast hip hop. There are two things that separate him. First, while it's true that Del's cousin Ice Cube and DJ Pooh produced most of this album, Del was also in the control room influencing the sound of the album. Second, he didn't grow up in the So.Cal. hoods. He grew up in the Bay area, which I think was a major influence on his sound. This album bounces with fantastic beats, that have a little bit of P-Funk, combined with some extremely funky drum tracks. Two of the standout tracks, in my mind, are Mistadobalina and Pissin' on Your Steps. The former is known for being the first single off this album, and was responsible for putting Del's name in the names of hip hop heads. The latter is a fun little track that takes a couple of shots at the dancer/rappers of the early 90s. It includes the following line: "Ice is cool/But I can't stand Vanilla/ because he takes a style and tries to mock it/ Ain't nothin' personal G/ but I'm kinda into chocolate." All of the tracks have their own little moments, and this album is a hip hop classic. With this kind of talent, it's no wonder that Del is still out there doing his thing.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2001
When "Mistadobalina" came out it was probably the first track which, immediately upon hearing it, I thought "this is good, I like this". Unfortunately, Del didn't make much of a mark here in Australia beyond that track and a guest appearance (and incredible freestyle) on a gameshow - the gameshow also had an appearance from Da Mad Stuntman of Reel 2 Real a few months later.
After I got into hip-hop music, I was constantly trying to locate at the very least the lyrics to "Mistadobalina" and at most the album which had it. Eventually, thanks to various music sites, I was able to find out about this little gem and try to order it in.
After many false starts ... I finally got the CD. To my mind, probably a biased opinion, "Mistadobalina" is still the best track on the album although "Pissin On Your Steps", "Dark Skinned Girls", "Dr Bombay" and "Sleepin On My Couch" are all very strong tracks as well.
The thing I still can't get over is how much more of a household name Del is in America as opposed to here in Australia - we can't even get the other albums of his unless they turn up via sites such as this. The closest we come every so often is the "oh yeah, I remember that song" effect as "Mistadobalina" is played or the occasional video show playing the madcap video of the track (I'll never forget the sight of all the businessman clones going into the room by holding the door open, neither can I forget Del leaping around rapping "ooh ooh mistadobalina/you thought you could manipulate/you thought you could fool me.")
To everyone who needs a crazy alternative to life, buy this album - you will never regret it. To everyone who vaguely remembers the song, buy the album - you won't regret it either. Finally, to those who love the Del/Heiroglyphics crew, buy it as well.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 28, 2007
Some mc's you just know from the second that you hear them are going to become one of your favourites if they hopefully get the backing they deserve. Del was one of those that I instantly loved listening to. Throughout his debut the funk laced tracks perfectly inable him to showcase his amazing wordplay and witty sense of humour. Although his style is very much darker+sharper nowadays this is the perfect 1st glimpse at the fun side of Del. With help from his cousin, the legendary Ice Cube on the production side of things with his Boogiemen crew (Bobcat and Dj Pooh) the album is very funky with lovely Funkadelic/Parliment samples over hard head nodding beats. Del's playful lyricism is all over the tracks and his stories are both funny and insightful. He deals with issues in his community in a more funnier way than his cousin would do and puts a lovely twist on them such as tracks like "Wacky World Of Rapid Transit" (the state of the public transport), "Pissin' On Your Steps" (white cats in the hiphop industry, particularly Vanilla Ice), "Dark Skin Girls" (his preference in girls), "Sleepin' On My Couch" (story about friends taking liberties when he extends kindness), "Hoodz Come In Dozens" (about thugs being in every hood). The main standouts were the singles "Mistadobalina" (still amazing to this day) and "Dr. Bombay" aswell as "Wacky World Of Rapid Transit", "Ahonetwo, Ahonetwo", "Sunny Meadowz", "Sleepin' On My Couch", "Hoodz Come In Dozens" and "Same Ol' Thing". Excellent debut that is GUARANTEED to entertain.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
In 1991, Del tha Funkee Homosapien released his debut album "I Wish My Brother George Was Here" to an unsuspecting audience becoming engrained in the West Coast's booming gangsta rap scene. At this point in hip hop, the West Coast was synonymous with the menacing hardcore rap of N.W.A., Compton's Most Wanted, and related acts, and no real alternative or underground existed. Del's debut eternally changed the face of West Coast hip hop, and definitely for the better. Del is Ice Cube's first cousin, but as rappers one would never confuse the two. Here, Del established himself as one of hip hop's most enticing MCs for his character and subject matter. Del comes across as someone everyone can relate to, rapping about everyday occurrances. On "Brother George," he raps about such day-to-day topics as public transportation, freeloading neighbors, and fear of gang activity rather than participation in it. The listener is sure to find him endearing because, for most folks, he's just like someone in their corner. Del lives a normal middle class life and observes his surroundings, and his observations are reflected in his often hilarious rap verses. The songs and album are exactly the right length, he puts across his point and supports it, but his delivery and style keep your attention the entire time, and you can never lose track of his verses. He was only 18 when he recorded it, but from a lyrical perspective, this might be the most effective, funny, and certainly groundbreaking performance of his legendary career.
From a musical standpoint, I love this album as well. The executive producers are Ice Cube and DJ Pooh. The music is the same upbeat, pure funk with heavy Parliament sampling as found on Ice Cube's concurrent album Death Certificate. The producers and sound are fairly identical, and the thick grooves are inescapable nearly all the time. But it's funny how these grooves have such a different effect with Del rapping over them. Cube made them sound ironic, but Del makes them just a laidback backdrop. It's actually pretty amazing to listen to "Brother George" and Death Certificate next to each other. Although both albums are 1991 classics, very similar musically, and performed by first cousins, they complement each other in an amazing way. While Ice Cube angrily and menacingly speaks of the serious problems facing the urban community, Del sits back and observes the lighter side of life. Cube makes some vocal appearances on this album, almost poking fun at himself. He voices the stick-up kids and men on the city bus that Del encounters. While "Brother George" is the first album from the highly influential Hieroglyphics crew, this doesn't have too many similarities to the sound that they would later be defined by. The jazzy, artistic approach that Del and Souls of Mischief would later embrace began after "Brother George," in both music and lyrics. Del is alternative here not because he has the flower-power menality of the Native Tongues on the East Coast, but simply because he offers a different style to what reigned West Coast hip hop at the time. "Brother George" is a hilarious, entertaining, musically fulfilling and all-too-true album that is still essential listening sixteen years later.
The album opens with the heavy funk of "What Is a Booty?," which serves as little more than a musical intro, opening the disc in grand fashion. This gives way to the classic single "Mistadobalina," which is anchored by an unforgettable vocal sample and simple loop, with clever and conversational raps to a certain individual. "The Wacky World of Rapid Transit" is Del at his finest. He recounts an unpleasant experience commuting on the city bus, from being late and encountering unpleasant riders to missing his stop. This is so funny because it's so normal that most rappers would never stray so far as to talk about such ordinary annoyances, and his performance is hilarious, with his running conversations and griping that rings so true. The musically rich "Pissin' on Your Steps" is another winner, where he issues very funny and lighthearted disses towards Vanilla Ice, MC Hammer, and some hip hop ideas he finds disagreeable, threatening "yellow showers." "Dark Skin Girls" is essential listening. Here, Del offers commentary on his preference in females, but he also presents a little Afrocentric attitude towards women who feel that only white is beautiful, all with a funny hook. On "Money for Sex" he voices his dislike towards the practice of prostitution, and some simple insight into his brain on "Ahonetwo, Ahonetwo." The second single, the catchy "Dr. Bombay," is excellent, and following the cool "Sunny Meadowz" comes one of my favorites "Sleepin' on My Couch." Del talks about his dilemmas with freeloading friends who try to live off him. He's "had it up to here with these lazy cats" but worries about offending them by kicking them out, a totally legitimate argument. The funk and his understandable emotion make this track a highlight. I also love "Hoodz Come in Dozens," where he expresses his frustration with gangsters and stick-up kids that rob him and keep him from living the life he deserves. "Same Ol' Thing" addresses the lack of variety and originality in hip hop with a little sucker-MC bashing, and the album closes with the brief "Ya Lil' Crumbsnatchers," a fitting conclusion.
Del would go on to an outstanding career as one of the leading figures in the West Coast underground, but his debut album remains one of his finest pieces. A masterpiece from start to finish, "Brother George" is as entertaining as any from this era and never gets old. This is the type of album you could use to sell hip hop to a nonbeliever. If you haven't already, treat yourself to "I Wish My Brother George Was Here," a unique hip hop classic.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2005
Del tha Funkee Homosapien was the first of the Hieroglyphics crew to drop an album, and this was in 1991. Maybe because his couz Ice Cube was helping him out back then. This album definitely is extremely funky, and showcases a very young lyricist. A lyricist who may sound more like an East-coast MC, but with P-funk West-coast flavored music. The excellent singles "Mistadobalina" and "Dr. Bombay," as well as "What Is A Booty," are prime examples of the funk Hiphop offered on this album.
Not one song is an eyesore, and Del comes fresh throughout. Although, this is not vintage Del. Del has carved his niche in the rap game for his outstanding, intelligent vocabulary and tremendous freestyle-type energy that he brings to the table. Neither of those really apply here. At age 18, his vocab was much simpler, and he was flowing more laid-back. Doesn't mean that he didn't show promise though. I liked the fact that despite referencing subjects I don't care too much for(smoking weed, graphic sex, etc.) he doesn't dwell too much on them or turn them into whole songs. Del's sense of humor popped up many times during the album. He actually gets a little conscious and profound on "Sunny Meadowz," my favorite song off the album. Besides the two singles, the other noteworty songs are "Pissin' On Your Steps," and the short "Ahonetwo, Ahonetwo." Does he take some stabs at De La Soul on "Pissin'"? He'd better not! I don't necessary agree with his views on "Dark Skin Girls," but at least it's an original idea. The last four songs kind of drag, but I do like his one verse on the finale, "Y'all Lil' Crumbsnatchers."
This is an interesting view at the complex, energetic Cali MC that we know today, but it doesn't feel like it's his album. He was so young, and Ice Cube and Boogieman pretty much control the background music, which is drenched with funk influence. Del still shows his uniqueness and individuality here, two things that he's been known for throughout his career. I'm surprised this one didn't get a Parental Advisory sticker, but whatever. If you're looking for an excellent funk-filled Hiphop cd then you can start here. But if you want to know more about Del the MC, you should start with a Hieroglypics or his "Both Sides Of The Brain" cd, then definitely cop this and see how he's evolved.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 1999
Del is by far one of the most illest, underrated emcees to this day. The album was simply dope, and every true head should have this album!
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2005
First of all, it's a shame, but artists like Del will never go platinum because he simply is not mainstream, and that's cool because I don't want those followers listening to my Hip-Hop anyway. Let them have the DIP-SET. That being said, this was as good an album as you can get while not having complete creative control. Del's cousin (Ice Cube) left fingerprints all over the album. While not neccesarily a bad thing, you really don't get a chance to see his true ability until NO NEED FOR ALARM. When I bought this cassette in '91 I enjoyed it, but I didn't rate Del as a creative giant until ALARM. I do recommend this album as a reference to the roots of Hiero's verbal-gymnastics (if only for "Dobalina" and "Dr. Bombay")but don't start here if you're new to Del. You're better of with BOTH SIDES OF THE BRAIN.
ALSO CHECK OUT THESE OTHER EARLY HIEROGLYPHICS RELEASES!
-NO NEED FOR ALARM-Del
-LIKE IT SHOULD BE-Extra Prolific (SLEPT ON!!!)
-'93 TIL INFINITY-Souls Of Mischief
SUPPORT THE CULTURE, NOT THE VULTURES