24 March 2017 - GEORGE CLINTON - FUNK

- FUNK -

G'day folks,

 George Clinton is an American singer, songwriter, bandleader, and record producer. He was the principal architect of P-Funk and the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic during the 1970s and early 1980s.

 Though Clinton was born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, he truly began his musical development when his family moved to Central Jersey. This was where Clinton formed the Parliaments in the early ‘60s. Performing out of the back of his Plainfield Barbershop, the Parliaments dabbled mostly in Motown and doo-wop fare, hinting in no way at the radical path that would make George Clinton the Godfather of Funk.

In 1969, the Parliaments disbanded, leaving the name under record company ownership. It was at this point that Clinton was presumably abducted by aliens, intravenously fed LSD, and returned to Earth in rainbow dreadlocks and a diaper. Naturally, these factors would make Clinton the preeminent influence (alongside James Brown, of course) on the future history of funk, rap, hip hop, and rock.

Over the course of the ’70s, Clinton presided over not one but two units, each of which helped to define funk at its most schizophrenic. Funkadelic’s gritty psychedelic soul served as a blueprint both for the conceptual approach to record-making and the sharp-tongued street journalism that would eventually shape hip hop at its most innovative. If Funkadelic’s legacy wasn’t enough on its own, Clinton began to also focus his attention on Parliament in the mid-‘70s. 

Even as Funkadelic was writing the book on psychedelic soul, Parliament set the mold for grimy, horn-heavy funk. Taken together, Parliament-Funkadelic created a mind-blowing live experience in which as many as 50 musicians might crowd the stage with glorious color and noise.

With 1978’s Funkadelic release, One Nation Under a Groove, Clinton achieved a masterpiece of confluence, the moment of greatest mainstream visibility for Funkadelic and the record on which all the moving parts in the Clinton kingdom came together. One Nation emerged on the back side of the funk movement, the front side of disco, and as a prelude to hip hop. This is Clinton’s greatest commercial and political manifesto, calling for global unity around the impulse to boogie. Clinton solidified his status as a patron saint of hip hop through his much-celebrated early ‘90s collaborations with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Both cite Clinton as a seminal influence.

Today, Clinton continues to tour off and on with various members of his P-Funk All-Stars and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Clancy's comment: Another of the many characters in the music business.

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