PHOTO: Drew Gurian
Last week I had the honor of moderating the great George Clinton 's Red Bull Music Academy talk at the Brooklyn Museum as part of RBMA's Festival New York. Being a longtime Parliament-Funkadelic devotee, this was pretty much a dream come true interview gig for me. If funk's foundation was the innovations of James Brown and Sly Stone, P-Funk - under Clinton's guidance, and in tandem with creative partners like Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Junie Morrison etc. - turned ish out on some super stupid/sophisticated conceptual, unleashing a string of wildly entertaining/insightful masterpieces like Osmium , Maggot Brain , Cosmic Slop , Mothership Connection , The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein , Funkentelechy vs. the Placebo Syndrome , One Nation Under a Groove (hell, essentially everything released that decade) that continues to inspire. It ain't no mystery why George Clinton's hip-hop era collabs include everyone from P.E. to OutKast to Kendrick Lamar; he's remained relevant by staying young at heart, steadfastly refusing to succumb to the kind of musical know-it-all cynicism that infects many folks well junior his 73-years. Here he talks To Pimp a Butterfly , fallen P-Funk soldiers Eddie Hazel, Glen Goins and Garry Shider, staying clean after decades of drug abuse, the proposed cover art to a Maggot Brain -era project called Black Vampire , and lots more.