I pledge allegiance to the funk, the whole funk, and nothing but the funk. I promise to funk One Nation Under a Groove, and to get down just for the funk of it.
Now that you know where I stand, let me tell you a tale of chasing the funk. I remember clearly when the Mothership landed and dropped the stanky bomb all over the hood of San Francisco. It was about 1976 — I never will forget. It was my mother who turned me on (or out). Soon as the ship landed, she got on board immediately, and so did the rest of us. I admit that it surprised me that my momma had no reservations about boarding this ship, being a souled out soul sister in love with Teddy and Al. I decided at that point that she was as cool (and crazy) as any momma could be.
I do remember that the stank of the funk was so seductive, so addictive, so damned funky, yet so out of this world mad crazy to the verge of being ridiculous, that at first, in the beginning, before I would play the record I would first open my front door, look both ways, close the door, close the draperies on the windows, THEN take the album out and set it on the turntable and watch it burn up in flames! I mean when you got a song called Night of the Thumpasorus Peoples, you GOT to look both ways lest you be deemed out of your doggone mind! Especially when the lyrics were: Gaga goo ga, Gaga goo ga, Gaga goo ga ga!
But the Mother ship landed, yes it did, and George Clinton and his funkateers clones, and rubber fans was the BOMB! Soon, I didnt have to be ashamed, because literally the entire ‘hood caught a whiff of that funk and it messed everybody up! We were rendered defenseless, and could do nothing but whatever Dr. Funkenstein told us.
We love to funk you, Funkenstein
Your funk is the best (talk!)
Take my body, give it the mind
To funk with the rest (kiss me on my ego)
Hit me with the one and then
If you like, hit me again
We love to Funk-a-stein (ohhh, over!)
He just wanted us to know that he was in complete control and would not harm us.
When I start churnin’, burnin’ and turnin’
I’ll make your atoms move so fast
Expandin’ your molecules
Causing a friction fire
Burnin’ you on your neutron
Causing you to scream
“Hit me in the proton, BABY!”
George is a living legend. A lot of hip hop is build on the foundation of what George Clinton and his cadre of talented musicians built. But no good deed goes unpunished. Did you know that George has been waging a battle to regain rights over his catalogue which was stolen from him? I had heard that he lost his publishing rights. I heard that he sold them out from under himself. I don’t know if that’s true or not. But even still, in terms of publishing rights, there is a time where those rights revert automatically to the original author. For George, 2013 is the year to regain all his rights. Back in 1977, 2013 seemed like a long time into the future for the thieves of the music industry. But the time has arrived: 2013 is almost here, and do you know that the industry is fighting to change the law so that George still won’t be able to get back his catalogue of funk?
Davey D, of Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner blog sits down with George Clinton, our godfather of funk, and gets his take on hip hop and music in general. He talks about how it started and why P-Funk has endured. He talks about the artists he’s worked with and those he still would like to work with. He talks about the battle he’s waging to get his extensive catalog back under his control and how we true funkateers can help rescue the funk. It’s a shame when an artist works H.A.R.D. and puts forth his talents to the full, and thieves can enact laws that allow them to steal the artist’s work right out from under him, and in full view. That right there needs to end.
- Shira Lazar: How George Clinton Is Using Indiegogo To #SaveFunk Online (huffingtonpost.com)
- Funk Pioneer George Clinton Gets Doctorate From Berklee (allhiphop.com)
- Our Interview w/ George Clinton Battling the Music Industry Sharks (hiphopandpolitics.wordpress.com)