George Clinton, aka Dr. Funkenstein, manages to be a living fossil without seeming dated or old.
Though many of you may be accustomed to thinking of Clinton as a technicolor-dreadlocked, extravagant ’70s emcee who manages to incorporate the word “funk” into every sentence, the truth is slightly different -but only very slightly.
“The funk is forever coming,” Clinton said from the comfort of his berth in Parliament Funkadelic’s tour bus following Sunday night’s concert. “It’s always coming. It never goes anywhere. It pops up in different forms but… ultimately, they go back, check the DNA, and go, ‘Oh yeah, that’s the funk again.'”
The fact that Clinton and his two major bands – the rock group Funkadelic and the jam collective Parliament – have done more than any other people to crystallize the concept of funk in the American consciousness isn’t lost on him. In fact, he still works actively to not just mime his disco-era glories but to renovate, reinterpret, and revive the funk.
“We’re really close to all the hip hoppers,” Clinton said. “It doesn’t bother us that they sampled. We made sure they sampled our records; we gave them the samples … It kept the funk alive, and funk will keep hip hop alive.”
This was obvious in the Thunderdome on Sunday night. Parliament Funkadelic (aka the P-Funk All Stars) incorporated not only the perennial, “If anybody gets funked up, it’s gonna be you,” chantalongs, but also some n