A true story: Years and years and decades ago, when rap first started appearing on British radio and the pop charts, I remember my dad being weirdly excited about the potential of the genre; he talked about it being a way to make poetry more accessible to young people, and the ways in which it was really just spoken word performance coming alive again. That lasted… ehh, months, at best? And then he defaulted to the old man position of it being noise, not people singing just talking, and the like, for the rest of his life. He was won over by the conservative position and the fear of a culture alien to him, depressingly.
I always think about that when listening to “3030,” or any track from the Deltron 3030 album. Del tha Funkee Homosapien’s performance on these tracks feels like something that may have convinced my dad to default to his earlier position. There is poetry here, smart and funny and wonderfully strong in the way it introduces and evolves narrative while still working as individual tracks for the casual listener. It’s wonderfully complex and evocative, helped along by the grandiose production of Dan the Automator, who provides wonderfully grandiose music to act as backdrop, pushing memories of epic science fiction space operas and classic classical music to the forefront with the orchestral and choral sweep of the whole thing.
I never got to play Deltron 3030 for my dad; I have no idea whether he would have gotten it or not. But I like to pretend that he would, even so.