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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Steve Inskeep, to tell us about some new music.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

This next story begins a little over 1,000 years from now.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DELTRON 3030: (Rapping) Start date, 3040. Warp speed to the new scenario, where we roam. Our tiny planet was continually shrouded in darkness (unintelligible) conquest...

INSKEEP: The year 3040 is the setting for a hip-hop album. It's a familiar era to hip-hop fans, who recall an earlier album set in 3030. Deltron 3030 is the name of the group whose first recording drew many fans years ago. Now the long-awaited follow-up has arrived from that trio.

So who is Deltron Zero, the name you give to the narrator, the main character, your alter ego here in this album?

TEREN DELVON JONES: That's me, basically.

INSKEEP: Meaning rapper Teren Delvon Jones, also known as Dell, The Funky Homosapien. His producer is Dan Nakamura.

DAN NKAMURA: When you look at Deltron Zero, he's not like the guy who blows up the Death Star. He's the guy who sees everything that goes on and kind of talks about it and he is not the voice of the people, but kind of observant voice that's looking at society and looking at what's happening and really reporting back on it.

JONES: Yeah. He's kind of like a rogue kind of character, but not evil.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

3030: (Rapping) Now you're witnessing the quick thinking and dexterity of a sick genius, Deltron Zero. You a bit squeamish because I'm rumored to brandish turbo lasers in a fit of fiendish and...

INSKEEP: It's a hazy world in Deltron 3030 Event Two. Deltron Zero is a privateer - which is to say an officially sanctioned pirate. He raps his way through a dystopian future after some economic catastrophe. The trio created that scenario by working in the manner of many futuristic writers, starting by thinking about the present.

JONES: Like the economy, the bottom falling out of the economy, you know what I'm saying, all this stuff. You feel me? Like, it's just turmoil, basically, you know? So, this is what I'm rapping about. But my vision of what would happen in the future if things kept on going the way that they're going.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

3030: (Rapping) At the starship repair facility you could see the shipyards with crafts ready to lift off. Corporations went bankrupt. Once our planet was assaulted where the headquarters were posted, unable to recover from the losses, we were thrown into a recession of monstrous proportions...

JONES: I think at one point it was too dark. And I think Dan was kind of like, you know, I'm not going to tell you what to do but, you know, maybe you might want to add some other things that are like a little bit brighter.

INSKEEP: Which is why the rap is interrupted by two comedians. David Cross and his wife Amber Tamblyn play futuristic characters, older people who, like the older people of every generation, just can't believe how these kids behave.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

DAVID CROSS: Back when I was growing up too, you knew how to talk to your elders. You did it in a very nasally, singsong kind of cadence. It's like, oh my God. And that's how people talk and that's how you're supposed to talk.

AMBER TAMBLYN: Absolutely. And also, you didn't look at anybody while you talked to them. You make sure to text or tweet at that exact time. Now you got...

CROSS: They don't do that anymore.

TAMBLYN: Yeah, I know.

INSKEEP: Even in dystopia there will be time to complain about changing times. The album is "Deltron 3030, Event II." We heard from Dell, The Funky Homosapien and Daniel Nakamura, also known as Dan The Automator.

GREENE: You're listening to MORNING EDITION from NPR News.

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