What's cooler than robots? Rapping robots.
Deltron 3030 is an alternative hip-hop supergroup that features Deltron Zero (Del Tha Funkee Homosapien), the Cantankerous Captain Aptos (producer/remixer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura) and Skiznod The Boy Wonder (turntablist Kid Koala).
Much like Nakamura's previous conceptual projects, Dr. Octagon and Handsome Boy Modeling School, Deltron 3030's self-titled album and single sends the hip-hop triumvirate into the year 3030, where — as the sole survivors of earth — they travel through the galaxy.
Both the album and single were released in 2000 on 75 Ark Records. An album of instrumentals tracks from Tron 3030 followed a year later.
Deltron 3030 is also known for two of its members (Del Tha Funkee Homosapien and Dan "The Automator" Nakamura) later working with Damon Albarn to form Gorillaz
A sequel to Deltron 3030, called Deltron Event II, was in Development Hell
for eight years, until on August 13th, 2013, they released a three-song EP "City Rising From The Ashes" (which you can listen to on the official Youtube channel here
. Deltron Event II was finally released in September 2013, also featuring Zack De La Rocha
, The Lonely Island
, Damon Albarn, Mike Patton
, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
and Chef David Chang
among many other interesting choices. Also, they're bringing a 16-piece orchestra with them on tour.
This work contains examples of:
- Artificial Limbs: Briefly referenced in “St. Catherine St.” (where it sounds like they’re being sold by… a street vendor.)
- Big Bad: Q-zar in “Battlesong” and the government itself in “Virus”, “Madness” AND “Turbulence”
- Bittersweet Ending: "Do You Remember" is one for the entire saga, and a real Tear Jerker at that.
- Boastful Rap: Deltron Zero actually brags more about Automator in “Mastermind”. “3030” also counts as a Boastful Rap for both Deltron AND Automator, and “Positive Contact” is Deltron Zero’s bragging song. Deltron also brags about his 1337 hax0r skillz in “Virus”.
- Book Ends: “State of the Nation” is a brief little speech about the year 3030, and “The Assmann 640 Speaks” is the exact same speech, but distorted and scratchy.
- Camp: "Meet Cleofis Randolph the Patriarch"
- Catch Phrase: “Upgrade (A Brymar College Course)” gets one: “Upgrade your gray matter, 'cause one day it may matter!”
- Concept Album
- Cool People Rebel Against Authority: Deltron Zero pretty much spends all his time either rebelling against authority or writing rebellious raps. We hear this especially in “Virus”. (And yet, he’s oddly compliant in “Battlesong” when he was trying to get into the battle for free… maybe because the person handing out the battle forms was just doing their job.) This is even Lampshaded in “Love Story”:
They admire my enhanced stanzas
and how I dodge manhunts and security cameras
- Crapsack World: "Turbulence" describes a world so crappy that "aliens landed [and] said our planet wasn't worth invading".
- Creepy Monotone: the opening to “Upgrade (A Brymar College Course)”.
- Development Hell: “Deltron Event II” was there for AT LEAST eight years before being released in late 2013. The City Rising From The Ashes EP was released just before.
- Dystopia: The setting of the album seems this way, although some still seem to have their fun.
- Electronic Speech Impediment: “The Assmann 640 Speaks”
- Evil Is Hammy: It isn’t quite clear whether the evil people in “Virus”, “Turbulence” and/or “Battlesong” are the actual voices or Deltron Zero doing an over-the-top impression of them—but either way, there is evil, and ham ensues.
- Fascists' Bed Time: In “Turbulence”: “YOU ARE TO BE INSIDE BY 9:00 OR WE WILL SHOOOOT 'CHAAA”
- From Bad to Worse: Sounds like the Crapsack World got even crapsackier after Deltron Zero set that virus loose, spreading panic everywhere. (It seems like this was his goal, actually...)
- Hey, It's That Voice!: That’s Damon Albarn speaking on the first and last song on the album, and also on “Time Keeps on Slipping”.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: Arguably, this happens in “Love Story”: Deltron Zero goes from winning the “Rhyme Federation Championship” in "Battlesong" to getting FIRED... Although, when he started working for said “Rhyme Federation” is never really explained.
- Impossibly Cool Weapon: A drinking game could be made out of how many of them are in "Battlesong".
- Jive Turkey: Whoever is talking in “St. Catherine St.”
- Large Ham: nearly everybody! Especially the government.
- Meanwhile Song: “New Coke” and “St. Catherine St.”
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Deltron Zero in “Virus”.
- Non-Appearing Title: “Time Keeps on Slipping”, “Battlesong”, “Love Story” and all of the under-one-minute tracks.
- Obviously Evil: the empire/government/evil dictatorship of doom deconstructed in at least three songs definitely fits this trope.
- One of Us: Deltron Zero, full stop. Over the course of the Deltron 3030 album, he throws out just about every reference he can think of: Ghost in the Shell (in “3030”), Transformers (more than once, in “Things You Can Do”), Armorines and Fantastic Four (in “Things You Can Do”) Gamera (in “Positive Contact”), and Star Wars (in “Battlesong”). He also references Vex, a robot design system (in “Things You Can Do”) and talks about “perusing his 21st-century classic comics” in “Love Story”.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: definitely going on in “Virus” (and, actually, showing why it doesn’t work—according to this song, Deltron Zero and his super-hacking BROKE THE WORLD.)
- Perfectly Cromulent Word: “The Fantabulous Rap Extravaganza pt. 1" gives us "interspectacular", "fantabulous" and "instupicuous"
- Police State: the setting of the whole album.
- Ray Gun: Deltron and Automator gets at least one in “Battlesong”
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Deltron Zero is the Red Oni and Automator is the Blue Oni. This is especially evident in their exchange at the end of “Mastermind”.
- Sanity Slippage Song: Zig-zagged in the appropriately-named “Madness”. It starts off pretty normal, but descends pretty quickly as Deltron talks about how shitty their world is. The chorus itself may count as a Madness Mantra. However, the last lines of the second verse suggest an aversion:
I’m glad I love music and life
‘cos it’s easy to see the pain and strife
and end it all tonight
- Space Opera
- Speculative Fiction
- Synthetic Voice Actor: Again, the opening to “Upgrade (A Brymar College Course)”.
- Technobabble: happens in "Virus" and "Battlesong," but doesn't
- Time Skip: Event 2, as established in "The Return," takes place in 3040 (and skips again at the end to 4010). Deltron and Automator haven't been seen in years — an intentional reference to the album's long stay in Development Hell?
- Totally Radical: We don’t hear much from him, but the “National Movie Review” guy sounds like this.
- “How’s it goin’, eh?”
- “...it chronicles the adventures of two latter-day Renaissance men—or, to use the correct 20th-Century terminology: hosers.”
- Title Drop: “3030”, “Positive Contact”, “Things You Can Do”, “Madness”, “Turbulence”, “Virus” and “Memory Loss” all have one in their choruses.
- Wake Up, Go To Interplanetary Rap Battle, Save The World: Deltron Zero was able to take out three adversaries each in only one verse—oh, but when it comes to talking to some random chick in “Love Story”? HELL NO, gotta break out the Flirtbot 3000 for that one, eh Del?
- Weapon of Choice: Deltron Zero's rhymes themselves are able to do damage, plus he uses all kinds of happy fun guns (and a few other weapons… what exactly IS a “cranial disruption siphon” anyway?) in "Battlesong".