Happy 71st Birthday to Dr. Funkenstein, George Clinton!
The bandleader/songwriter for the funk collective Parliament-Funkadelic, Clinton is one the most influential and successful R&B artists of all time. His seminal 1970s albums with Parliament and Funkadelic remain among the genre’s best and most influential recordings. Songs such as “Can You Get To That”, “One Nation Under a Groove”, and “Give Up The Funk” have all deservingly become funk standards.
Listen to P-Funk play a “Swing Down Sweet Chariot/Mothership Connection” live.
In fact, George Clinton’s influence on modern music is incalculable; by combining elements of ’60s psychedelia and blues with the deep groove of soul, Clinton created a unique brand of funk rock that remains one R&B’s quintessential sounds. Countless MCs have paid tribute to Clinton by sampling his songs, illustrating his continued relevance and proving his legacy as one of the all-time greats. Along with James Brown, George Clinton is widely considered the most sampled artist ever. There’s even an entire rap subgenre, G-Funk, built on beats sampled from P-Funk tunes.
Check out the G-Funk song, “Let Me Ride” by Dr.Dre that includes samples from the aforementioned “Mothership Connection” and “Swing Down Sweet Chariot”.
He has also worked with countless contemporary artists producing a record for Red Hot Chili Peppers and appearing on tracks by artists such as Tupac, Outkast, and Ice Cube, among many others. Clinton remains active today, celebrating 50 years in funk music this year on Bootsy Collins’ 60th Birthday night. He is touring regularly and had even accepted an honorary doctorate from Berkeley College of Music earlier this year, making Dr. Funkenstein a certified PhD.!
(Funk Music News has the exclusive footage of George performing with the Berklee funk ensemble upon this historic event. Click here to see!)
For a great career retrospective, check out the BBC documentary, “Tales of Dr.Funkstein” below.
Artwork by “Loving-Life Yo!”
Here’s a recent pic from Garrett Shider, of Clinton working on his art.
Note from the editor: *** This is the first post by Phil Mitchell. Leave a comment if you can dig it!!***