Del the Funky Homosapien is a legend. But probably unbeknownst to most people is that he also dabbled in the visual arts space. On his debut solo release, I Wish My Brother George Was Here, Del injects his trademark creativity with his artistic vision. And the artwork for I Wish My Brother George Was Here reflects that.
The album artwork borrows from comic books using the posterize effect. And the sounds of the album borrow from both P-funk and Gangster Rap. Which makes sense when you realize this album is executively produced by none other than Ice Cube.
The artwork for I Wish My Brother George Was Here, is visually striking because you feel that Del is trying to send a message. Using the power of semiotics, we see the eyes in the trees as faceless representatives of Black people lost in previous generations due to lynching. The concept feels both evocative and indecipherable within the color scheme.
The Artistic Vision
As Del worked with photographer, Alex Grey, whose work touches on colonialism, race, and gender, I think this is fair to surmise.
This was an important album of the ’90s. The album introduced the outsider perspective into hip-hop; making future artists like Doom or even Kanye West possible down the line.
Del’s debut feels personable as he tells stories about living in the ‘hood like “Sleepin On My Couch.” The quirky Del was certainly inventive with tracks like the infectious “Mistadobalina.” The latter of which developed a mythology into the origins of the name. It has also aged quite well from an era that is now notorious for sounding dated.
For this latest rendition of Vinyl Mango, I recreate the album cover to the best of my ability. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, so I hope you enjoy the homage.