|“||I gotta go. I knew that sooner or later (The Grim Reaper) would come. Y'know, you can't hide from him forever.||„|
Del Tha Ghost Rapper (also known as Del The Ghost or Del The Ghost Rapper) is the ghost of Russel Hobbs' late friend who was killed in a drive-by shooting.
He was based on the American underground hip hop rapper, Del The Funky Homosapien (also stylized as Del The Funkee Homosapien).
Del was gunned down in a drive-by shooting along with Russel's other high school friends one night outside a 7-Eleven Store. Almost immediately after his death, Del's spirit took residence inside of Russel's body along with other friends. He would come out of Russel's body, in the form of a ghost, on multiple occasions, usually while he was sleeping, and interact with the members of the band, sometimes even during the recording of songs.
During the band's first hiatus, Del was reaped from Russel's body by The Grim Reaper, as shown on the Gorillaz biography Rise of the Ogre. Afterwards, Del and Russel bid farewell to each other before Del finally went to his proper resting place in the afterlife. This experience of both meeting The Grim Reaper face-to-face for the second time and having Del forcibly removed from his body caused Russel to be completely disoriented for a few hours, until he was found by musician Ike Turner, who took him to his place to rest and recover from the event. This also later led him to develop strong anxiety whenever telling or remembering the story.
From this point to the present, Del hasn't made any appearance (not even a cameo) since his departure to the afterlife, although on occasion a band member would mention him and his exorcism. He was partially responsible for assisting the Gorillaz in composing the band's hit single, "Clint Eastwood", which sent the band on its way to super-stardom, by providing his rap verses for the song.
Del had also appeared in a Gorillaz Bite short "Jump the Gut". In the short, him and Noodle bet on whether 2-D will make it over Russel's gut or not. In this short it is also possible to see Del returning to inside Russel's body as he wakes up.
- "When he let's go of that break, man, it's gonna be like Evel Knievel's stunt bike plowin' through a whole platoon of 2 inch plastic German ground troops." (Quote from "Jump the Gut")
- "This is just one bet you're gonna lose." (Quote from "Jump the Gut")
- "He's never gonna clear that gut! Russel's been taxi catering all day and he's coming in way overweight!" (Quote from "Jump the Gut")
- "I'm highly animated, even though I'm decomposing!"(Quote from "Rock The House")
- "Finally, someone let me out of my cage!" (Quote from "Clint Eastwood")
|The full image gallery for Del may be viewed at Del/Gallery.|
- When answering questions of on the Official Gorillaz Forums in 2004, Noodle stated Russel spent a whole year in Ike Turner's basement after Del's exorcism.
- The song "Mr. Softy's Balloon Race" was written during the early days of Phase Two for Russel by 2-D, who thought he always seemed depressed, to help him cheer up after Del was reaped from his body. The record could be found at Russel's room on the Gorillaz Room game in the Kong Studios website during Phase Two, at the same place the Beat Box Bandit Remix of "Rock The House" used to be played.
- Despite being shown returning back to Russel's body the moment he wakes up on multiple occasions, there have been various instances of both being awake and conscious at the same time and even interacting with each other, such as on a few scenes of the "Clint Eastwood" music video, on a loud rhyming contest between the two from leaked surveillance documents by the Department of Musical Corrections and when being reaped away from Russel's body.
- A fanart of Del, made by artist Lorazombie, has become the most famous and well-recognized illustration of Del ever outside of his appearances on the "Clint Eastwood" and "Rock The House" music videos, even to the point of being used as an inspiration for his Superplastic figure.