Scarface & George Clinton Funk It Up For Parliament’s 1st Song In Nearly 40 Years (Audio)
To say George Clinton is a musical mastermind may be putting it lightly. The Funk O.G. is architect to a number of storied groups and unique outlets for his colorful music. On a major scale, the movement began with the Plainfield, New Jersey Doo-Wop product The Parliaments. Then came Funkadelic, after Clinton lost the rights to his band-name, and relocated to Detroit, Michigan with several touring musician associates. When Clinton re-gained the rights to his old singing troop, he took the same five singers plus five musicians from Funkadelic, and tried something unusual. He signed the two differently-named acts to separate labels, and experimented with different genres.
Parliament’s 1970 LP Osmium is quite different than the heavily-sampled Funkadelic, released seven months earlier. By the mid-’70s, the two bands—now with strong followings—toured in tandem. Parliament-Funkadelic became a thing, and “P-Funk” suddenly became a way of life. By the ’80s, Clinton and his remaining band-members moved into a solo phase, leading to hits like “Atomic Dog.”
Incessant with touring, Clinton is bringing his acts back out on wax (including The J.B.’s musical director Fred Wesley), in spirit and with his lead. In 2014, Funkadelic released First Ya Gotta Shake The Gate. The effort was 33 songs deep, released 33 years after the last LP under the band name. Del The Funky Homosapien (whose debut, I Wish My Brother George Was Here served as a salute to Clinton) was a guest. Kendrick Lamar and past P-Funk collaborator Ice Cube appeared on a video remix to “Aint We Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You.”
Now 38 years after Trombulation, George has a Parliament album in the chamber. The unraveling begins with a Scarface collaboration, “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’Me.” The five-minute track features Clinton bellowing the title, with some interplay with female vocalists. With George warning “I’m gonna give you the antidote,” it’s still a sex-fueled Funk groove. Just ahead of the halfway mark, the record smooths out to a new movement.
At 3:30, ‘Face enters. He catches the Funk bassline and picks up where Clinton’s lyrics leave off. The MC, producer, guitarist finds the pocket and weaves in a few P-Funk titles into his rhymes.
According to his Reddit AMA interview (as reported by OkayPlayer), Clinton vows to revive the P-Funk All-Stars next. “The new [Parliament] album is [titled] Medicaid Fraud Dog featuring the P-Funk horns Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Greg Thomas and Benny Cowan.”
#BonusBeat: Scarface’s latest solo single, “Black Still” (a reworking of a 1988 Public Enemy classic) has been made into a “Now You See Me” version, with permission by ‘Face:
This appears on Deeply Rooted: The Lost Files.