This Friday, hip-hop fans will be faced with a hard decision: Should they check out Del Tha Funkee Homosapien or The T'Cha himself, KRS-One?
Del is coming through to -- where else? -- Porter's Pub at UCSD (grab tickets here). You may remember Del for any number of reasons. If you're super OG, you may remember him only as Ice Cube's weirdo cousin. If you're a little less OG, you probably remember him as one of the leading voices of Hieroglyphics, the Oakland hip-hop crew with the best logo to ever grace hip-hop. Others still may know him from Deltron 3030, the cult-classic, futuristic concept album from 2000 with superproducer Dan the Automator behind the boards. And if you were just super late to the game, he was also that one rapper on the Gorillaz' first breakout hit, "Clint Eastwood."
On the other hand, you could go rock out with KRS-One at Winston's in Ocean Beach (click here for tickets). It seems a little silly to run down KRS-One's history. But in case you're one of those people who know Del only through the Gorillaz, we'll just go ahead and run it down.
KRS is one of hip-hop's pioneers. He came up in the late '80s using what later became the 50 Cent model for success: dissing other rappers really hard. To this day, his first opponent, MC Shan, is mostly known as the guy who got thoroughly demolished by KRS, despite being one of the hottest rappers at the time. When KRS wasn't ruining other rappers' careers, he was one of the most outspoken, sociopolitical artists around. He released the seminal "conscious" album Criminal Minded with his original group Boogie Down Productions. Since then, he's become the foremost proponent of hip-hop culture worldwide.
As far as live performances go, it's hard to top KRS, who is fairly successful at turning a concert -- a largely spectator event -- into a participatory activity. Despite Del being from the West Coast, his shows actually seem much rarer, likely because he's kind of a hermit. I mean, KRS actually just performed out here a few months ago and it was amazing. But if you already saw him then, you'll probably want to check out Del this time around.
Quan Vu Quan Vu is the founder and editor of local music blog sdRAPS.com. He has also written about local and national hip-hop acts for San Diego CityBeat and the San Diego Reader. You can nerd out on rap trivia by becoming BFF's on Facebook or e-mailing him directly.