Del + Amp Live (USA)

In 2018, rapper Del The Funky Homosapien and producer Amp Live are on guard at Gate 13. The new album marks the first full-length collaboration between the acclaimed Hieroglyphics MC and co-founder of Zion I and Unified Highway, respectively. The 15-track LP finds both highly respected creatives stepping out of their zones and redecorating the sound and substance. “13 represents bad luck. Basically, we’re the baddest out. This is a gateway to how we do,” Del says of the title’s significance. Using the unlucky number may seem ominous to an album, but the duo embraces the choice as a reflection of its artistic courage. Songs like “Gravy Train” and “Sit Ya Ass Down” bask in the pair’s Hip-Hop foundation. Meanwhile while Funk, retro R&B-Pop, and Electro manifest nicely into moments such as “Chili Sauce” and “Run Free.”

Previously, Amp and Del had worked together on two meaningful occasions. The veteran, Grammy-nominated MC guested on Zion I’s 2005 “What U Hear” from the duo’s beloved True & Livin’ album. Several years later, when Amp remixed Radiohead’s In Rainbows (with the band’s blessing), the producer recruited Del for the re-imagination of “Video Tapes.” Both beat-makers have long bonded over geeking out about equipment, technique, and advancing the sound and style of the tightknit Bay Area music community. Once they injected their vibes into Radiohead (with a great response), something bigger formed. “That was probably kind of merged us, like ‘This works’,” says Amp. The producer, who has branched out to do a number of collaborative projects and dabble in different genres, started setting aside sketches of sound. As Del (who relentlessly tours with nearly 20 titles in his catalog) entered a rare idle moment, Amp slid him the tracks. “I was always with what Amp was doing,” Del says of his partner. “But I think he just started going even harder. It was just so raw. I didn’t even know it was gonna be like this.”

Del + Amp Live

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