Teren Delvon Jones, a.k.a. Del The Funky Homosapien; Photo: Instagram

In a recent interview with HipHopDX.com, legendary lyricist Del The Funky Homosapien explained how comedy and battle rap inspired his forthcoming album Gate 13. In the extensive sit-down, the veteran outlined his relationship with producer Amp Live, and the lyrical direction of what’ll be his first proper full-length since 2014.

“The title is alluding to opening up a way to some bad shit,” Del told HipHopDX. “Amp and I both be talking about tech shit, musical trends, how shit evolve, you know, nerding out on music. We’ve known each other for years, and got common interests as far as composing music and dissecting it.”

As a writer Del is always challenging himself, and he went on to explain how an age-old rap tradition inspired his most recent effort. “I watch battle rap constantly,” he said. “I need that kind of hard creative expression. I’ve been introducing new information and working on making the album a better experience all around. I’m being cognizant of my age range and what I can get away with saying. What’s ‘appropriate’ I guess, culturally. Not like I’m censoring myself, but some things I don’t really have to say.”

To balance out the grit and grime of the battle rap influence, Del also took to comedy for inspiration. “I had to focus on things differently. I decided to study humor since I was always into it,” he said. “Battle rap made me go there too since wordplay is 50 percent of humor at least, so I just absorbed everything and took the good stuff that made sense to me.”

A battle rap/comedy album sounds like classic Del, and if there were a perfect time for him to make a comeback now would be it. He’s considered to be one of the most versatile lyricists in the game, and his bugged point-of-view will bring a welcome respite from the formulaic, money-me rap flooding the airwaves.

“It’s still me but I just tried to refine things lyrically and content-wise,” he said. “The sound of it is like a mixture of ’80s sounds and today’s electronic sounds. Amp is off the chain. We working on some instrumental shit too. But keeping my sanity is the main goal.”