Los Angeles, CA

Considering Ice Cube is Del The Funky Homosapien’s cousin, perhaps acting skills run in the family. Over the weekend, the Hieroglyphics MC shared a post to Twitter featuring a photo of himself with actor Jonah Hill and revealed he had a role in Hill’s directorial debut, Mid90s. 

So how did Del The Sometimes Actor happen?

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“He basically asked for me,” Del explains to HipHopDX. “That’s how it went. He asked for me. H’s a fan. The mid-90s, that’s when we was popping, so I guess at first he just wanted it to be a little guest feature or whatever, but then he ended up liking what I was doing, so he ended up calling me back the next day to try something else. Then he just thought it was dope.”

Mid90s revolves around 13-year-old Stevie who escapes his turbulent home life by diving board first into skateboarding culture. Del is one of those characters he meets along the way.

“I basically play a bum, a homeless person,” Del says. “I”m talking with the skaters, basically. The skaters are kids, so I think I ask them for a lighter or something like that, and one of them hands me a lighter and they ask, ‘Why you out here, man?’ I make up some story about why I’m out there, start talking to them a minute.

“I ask them something like, ‘Why y’all skating so hard like that?’ and they like, ‘We trying to go pro.’  I’m like, ‘What? You could get money for skating like that? Damn, that’s a trip. If I’d know that …’ So, we just talkin’. I wasn’t really acting.”

In 1993, Del had a small role in Who’s The Man starring Yo! MTV Raps‘ Ed Lover and Doctor Dre, which was a drastically different experience.

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“I had to memorize a script for that, so it wasn’t the same as this,” he says. “Jonah Hill just gave me a scenario and the kids a scenario, and let us go from there. So, it wasn’t like memorizing a script. He just gave me a scenario and I acted how I would in that scenario.”

As part of the film’s rollout, Hill put together a zine called Inner Childrenfeaturing 12 interviews with fellow Superbad actor Michael Cera, Edie Falco, Na-Kel Smith and A Tribe Called Quest’s Q-Tip, among others. The idea behind the interviews was to explore the inner child inside of everyone.

Del believes his inner child isn’t buried at all.

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“You’re talking to him now, basically,” he says. “I never really grew up, I guess. That’s probably due to shit I went through.”

Del, who is rarely seen without a skateboard in his hand, had to take a break following a nasty fall while overseas with Gorillaz. He’s slowly recovering and getting back to the grind.

“I couldn’t do nothing hella crazy and if I fell it would be very, very bad,” he admits. “I had to be careful, but I could still skate. I didn’t skate too much when I was hella messed up — not at all, really. By the time I got home and I started healing more, I started going out, trying it out ’cause that’s part of my therapy.

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“I’m feeling cool now. The doctor’s like, ‘You gotta do what you was doing before.’ That’s part of the therapy, the rehabilitation.”

Del was in a Denmark hospital for days with seven fractured ribs and a punctured lung. He was overwhelmed by the love and support he received as a result.

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“One love to everybody that was showing love to me out there, too,” he says. “Everybody showed a lot of concern. That was real cool.”

For now, Del is back in the Bay and plotting his next moves. Among those is a new solo album under the Funk Pimpin moniker.

“Working on new music now,” he says. “I’m just trying to put out my own solo shit, so that’s what I’m working on now. I got something I’m working on too with my boy Bas-One out here, but that’s more on a funk level. So, I got that funk project I’m working  on with Bass and then I got some solo shit coming out from me but it’s under the moniker Funk Pimpin though.

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“Bas-One has called me Funk Pimp for like the past 10, 15 years and I was just like, ‘Man, that’s clean, I need to use it for something.’ But he has a whole story and a whole world of his own separate from Del. So, it’s my solo stuff but it’s different, too. It’s another character.”

Catch Del in the Mid90s flick when it opens nationwide on Friday (October 25).