George Clinton is the alpha and omega of funk music. From New Jersey by way of North Carolina, Clinton began his music career in the 1950s, while working at a barbershop in Newark, New Jersey.
In his career, he cultivated two sounds (doo-wop and funk), then married them into its own subgenre. Originally with the Parliaments, Clinton dropped the “s” and conceived a rock group called Funkadelic.
In the 1970s, Funkadelic’s music was the sign of the times, a blend of bluesy-rock motifs with psychedelic effects.
Once a staff songwriter for Motown, Clinton lead Parliament Funkadelic and re-branded the music scene in the 1970s. His music was otherworldly. Yet Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic captured forty R&B hit singles and achieved four #1 hits: “Flashlight,” “One Nation Under a Groove,” “Aqua Boogie” and “(Not Just) Knee Deep.” Frequent collaborators included Bernie Worrel, Bootsy Collins, Maceo Parker, and Fred Wesley. On stage, Parliament Funkadelic’s sets could have inspired Burning Man-style art-cars, with an enormous mothership, outrageous costumes, and hours-long performances.
As a solo artist, Clinton released Computer Games with the number one hit single “Atomic Dog.” He produced The Red Hot Chili Peppers game-changing album Freaky Styley. In the ’90s, Clinton experienced a revival with the hip-hop music scene, as a generation of rappers bred off Funkadelic began to give him props.
We’re giving away a pair of tickets for George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic at 9:30 Club next Tuesday. All you have to do is tell us your favorite Clinton-hip-hop collabo.
My favorite is “Paint the White House Black” with Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Breed, etc.
The winner will be chosen Monday (2/6) at noon.