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Mid-week Melodies: George Clinton & the Parliment Funkadelic - One Nation Under the Groove

Posted on February 02 2017

This is an archived post, written in 2014 for the original Inverse Culture blog. It's a quality read, so we thought we'd resurrect it from the dead.

Mid-Week Melodies is something for you nine-to-fivers that need a little musical motivation to see the TGIF light at the end of the tunnel. Keep up the grind peeps!


If y’all were to discuss the genre of Funk, the musical collective Parliament-Funkadelic would probably be the basis of it. They are the pioneers of the funk that we listen to today, sampled widely across hip hop and even had their musical style coined ‘P-Funk’. The fact that they’re pretty much the most sampled band in hip hop should mean most of us would know at least a few tracks from the plethora they have. You think you could name a few ?

In 1956, the 15-year-old George Clinton formed ‘The Parliaments’, who were a doo-wop he formed in New Jersey. By the late 1960’s, Clinton made his way into Motown records as a producer and songwriter, simultaneously producing a hit single in “(I Wanna) Testify” with the then five-man lineup. To support the Parliaments on tour, he eventually constructed a five-man touring band labeled ‘Funkadelic’. A guitar-dominant psychedelic rock-funk band, he even got them signed to a label and released the album ‘Funkadelic’ in 1970, with Parliament singers featuring on the tracks as supporting acts. Eventually the two groups merged and became the widely unknown collective “Parliament-Funkadelic” and creating a creditable discography, that featured over 50 musicians over their 27 album dominant history.

George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic produced highly famed concept albums during the 1970’s, including futuristic and afrocentric themes. They fabricated identities for themselves, sporting a mysterious and out there fashion sense and just tore their live shows apart. The adopted stage shows vivid lights and sound effects and included P-Funk Mothership, which was ship that would land on the stage with Clinton emerging from it. Dope.

The album ‘One Nation Under the Groove’ was the most prolific album and track, with the lead track taking the no.1 spot on the R&B charts for 6 weeks and the album going platinum. The track includes the happiest vocals including a sick chorus, an array of future sounds, a fat funky bass, a couple of percussive instruments, a muted twangy, a consistent clap, a few more instruments, all combined to make one FRESH track.

Heading the movement dubbed “black-rock”, Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic looked to defy all boundaries that were placed upon them, in every aspect of life- sexually, socially and most importantly, musically. Clinton ultimately used the success of the album to allow this movement to prosper. Through the use of his mythological “P-Funk brothers”, they allowed their listeners to immerse themselves in a world that was far more progressive and unrestricted than social constraints allowed them to. They weren’t giving a funk about anything but their freedom to do as they wished.

During the period of 1970-80, the collective collaborated to produce hits such as Flash Light, Red Hot Mama, Testify, Ride On, Dr. Funkenstein and a heap more.

George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic inspired a generation of people to dream and shatter social boundaries and problems of the era. We’re also thankful for the musical influence they’ve had for proceeding greats such as D’Angelo and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Even the sub-genre of G-Funk is grateful for the impact they’ve had, with the P-Funk brothers heavily sampled in the West Coast rap and hip-hop sphere. For this legacy, they were inducted into the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame. This feat shattered yet another thing, with their induction giving them title of the largest group inducted to date.

George Clinton and the Parliament-Funkadelic were on point with their music and mind-state. They weren’t worried about the haters, just the funky appreciators. Going through their complete discography is a hard task, but it’ll get you the funk up.

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