The science fiction rap album Deltron 3030 by Del tha Funkee Homosapien and Dan the Automator is what a great concept album is all about. Every track is a song unto itself, and each one takes you deeper and deeper into an imagined future where Neuromancer meets hip-hop, with lines like “Cyber warlords are aggravating abominations / Arm a nation with hatred? / We ain’t with that / We high-tech archaeologists searching for knick-knacks / Composing musical stim-packs that impacts the soul / Crack the mold of what you think you rapping for.”
Science fiction concept albums have a long history. Longer than you might think. Here’s more from Geek Frontiers:
Starting with pilot Kenneth Arnold’s sighting of nine unidentified flying objects near Mount Rainier on the outskirts of Seattle in June 1947 and the reported crash of an alien craft in Roswell just two weeks later, an untold number of UFO sightings were reported within the United States during the 1950s. Hoping to cash in on the mania, rockabilly artist Billy Lee Riley released “Flyin’ Saucer Rock and Roll” in February 1957 – and then watched it shoot to the top of the charts shortly thereafter.
While the song was obviously a spoof as opposed to serious dissertation of alien visitors from outer space, science fiction and rock and roll would become forever linked a decade later when a new crop of recording artists combined their love of sci-fi novels with their musical talents. Instead of novelty hits like “Flyin’ Saucer Rock and Roll,” their creations were in essence “short stories” told through individual songs and concept albums containing longer narratives, giving rise to sci-fi rock as a hybrid form of literature and musical entertainment.
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