Today, Aug. 12, is the birthday of West Coast rhymer Del the Funky Homosapien! Sir DZL now turns 46.

Growing up in Oakland, Calif., Del was heavily influenced by his big cousin Ice Cube and started his rap career as the member of Cube’s Da Lench Mob. At the age of 18, Del chose to branch off from the crew and pursue his solo efforts. With help from Ice Cube, Del dropped his debut album I Wish My Brother George Was Here in 1991. Promotion for the LP began when Del dropped off “Mistadobalina,” a track that was met with positive reviews upon its release. The George Del refers to is none other than Funkadelic legend, George Clinton.

Del is also the leader of Bay Are rap clique Hieroglyphics, which consisted of members DJ Toure, Pep Love, A-Plus, Opio and more. Together, the clique dropped off three albums, including 3rd Eye Vision (1998), Full Circle (2003) and The Kitchen (2013).

Del has always been one to push the limits of hip-hop. Though he took a hiatus in the mid 1990s, he went on to add 10 more albums to his catalog after I Wish My Brother George Was Here and to this day, Deltron continues to produced and collaborate with the likes of MF Doom,¬°Mayday! and Mr. Lif. This past April, Del teamed with producer Amp Live to drop of Gate 13, a joint LP that added to the rapper’s already rich discography.

In an unfortunate note, Del suffered a punctured lung after falling off a stage during a performance this past July. Luckily, he’s recovered from the injury and can continue to rock stages everywhere. Salute.

Happy Birthday, Del!

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