Hieroglyphics, also known as the Hieroglyphics Crew and Hiero, are
an American underground hip hop collective based in Oakland, California.
The collective was founded in the early-1990s by rapper Del tha Funkee
Homosapien. The collective is currently composed of rappers Del the
Funky Homosapien, Casual, Pep Love, producer/manager Domino, DJ Toure,
and the four individual members of the rap group Souls of Mischief,
Phesto D, A-Plus, Opio, and Tajai.
The Hieroglyphics combine fundamentally sound deliveries and lyrical
content with original and sometimes jazzy or funky beats and samples.
Since their inception, Hieroglyphics have found a following largely
through their live concerts, podcasts ("Hierocasts"), and
promotion through their website.
The collective uses a three-eyed, straight-lipped face logo that
figures prominently on their albums, website, stickers, and clothing.
As a collective, the Hieroglyphics have released two studio albums:
3rd Eye Vision in 1998, and Full Circle in 2003.
In 2005, the collective released a live DVD and accompanying CD
of the Hiero's 2003 Full Circle Tour.
The collective has also released five compilation albums: Hieroglyphics
B-Sides and Hieroglyphics Oldies, Vol. I in 1997, Hieroglyphics Oldies,
Vol. II in 1998, The Building in 2004, The Corner in 2005, and most
recently, Over Time, in March, 2007.
Individual members of the collective have also released albums of
their own, either through solo projects or outside group projects.
The collective's ubiquitous, third eye logo was created by Del tha
Funkee Homosapien, the son of an abstract artist, and has been used
to promote the collective through reproduction on the Hieroglyphic's
album covers, website, promotional materials, stickers, and clothing.
In a 2000 interview with the SF Weekly, Del commented:
When I invented that symbol, I never thought it would get this big.
I've seen about 20 people with that tattoo. I saw a comic book --
like Clerks or something -- and one of the fools in there had a Hiero
shirt on. I saw a Redman and Method Man video, and there's somebody
in the crowd with a Hiero shirt on. I think slowly but surely people
are starting to pay attention to us. ”
The Clerks comic in question was drawn by underground comic artist
Jim Mahfood who has worked various rap and hip hop items into his
work over his career and has had his live art shows compared to hip
hop musicians. In an interview with halftimeonline in 2004, Mahfood
mentioned Del and the Hieroglyphics by name:
Working in comics, especially the way I do, is totally comparable
to an underground emcee or rap crew because you can actually make
a living off of it without selling out or compromising your vision.
Some of my heroes are Del The Funkee Homosapien from the Hieroglyphics
crew, Jurassic 5, or my homeboy Z-Trip are all people who have developed
a following for doing something really specific. ”
 Studio albums
3rd Eye Vision
* Released: May 24, 1998
* Chart positions: #26 Heatseekers, #88 Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums
* RIAA certification:
* Singles: "You Never Knew", "The Who", "Oakland Blackouts", "After
Dark", "Last One","At the Helm"
* Released: October 7, 2003
* Chart positions: #7 Heatseekers, #10 Top Independent Albums, #53 Top R&B/Hip-Hop
#155 The Billboard 200
* RIAA certification: 65,472 copies sold
* Singles: "Make Your Move", "Powers That Be", "Love
Flowin'", "Let It Roll"