When you have a memoir from an artist whose career spans over basically five decades, and just as many genres, you are automatically in for a great read. George Clinton the front man to the legendary bands ‘Funkadelic’ and ‘Parliament’ is one of musics most eccentric, confusing, wild, and enigmatic figures. Mr. Clinton who is the brains not only behind those two iconic bands but also all their offshoots and side projects, producing and arranging for Bootsy’s Rubber Band, Bernie Worrell’s solo projects, Eddie ‘ Maggot Brain’ Hazel, The Brides of Funkenstein and many more. With the P-Funk’s captain foreseeing the two main collectives releases, which usually looks like a steady release of twin albums every year, and the side projects and band members solo projects the reader is set to digest about ten years worth of music in this book if every project the P-Funk collective made were to play back to back continuously. The story, like all autobiographies, begins with George growing up and discovering music and how he got started in the industry and contrary to all the wild antics and what seems like unstructured behavior George quite ironically shows how much thought and planning went into every aspect of his art early on in the memoir. Do not let the strange titles and costume confuse you, this book is deep. From detailing the rigorous process of writing and arranging a song, one of Mr. Clinton’s true strong suits as he cannot play any instruments and as he says can’t sing either just “has the ability to make you think he can sing”, to exposing the true cut throat nature of the business and other conspiracies he has witnessed. This book is layered with knowledge from space exploration, spiritual depth and realization, conspiracy theories, mysterious deaths of great musical figures, to down right straight forward political funk all ingeniously delivered with classic P-Funk wit, humor and insight. There are stories of run ins with plenty of who’s-who’s in the industry and great behind the scenes tales of the two funk legends George and Sly (Sly Stone) kicking back, working on music, fishing and getting high. All the way up until current day and current albums, which feature s the title track -of this book- a track/title that almost seems like it is written incorrectly, George gives a detailed description of everything you need to know about life and the industry up to his current legal cases from greedy managers and lawyers who are solely out to make money off an artist whose catalog and publishing is so vast, and ever expanding due to Hip-Hop’s sampling, that the total sum of money owed to him could quite possibly reach the billions. Along with other things Mr. Clinton also reveals he is an avid reader and advocates the importance of knowledge constantly in this book and how it positively effected his art and creativity, perhaps it’s just the ‘placebo effect’ but maybe it truly helped expand his mind (along with the drugs), a great way for readers to start their own personal expansion is to read this book for yourself and truly free your mind (…and your ass will follow!)
Charles Hamilton returns to the spotlight with this new snippet he recently tweeted. With a slight political direction CH seems to be back on track, but can he get 100% back on his feet, listen below and tell us what you think.
Run The Jewels release their newest video for the song “Lie Cheat Steal”
It’s almost impossible to review the work of a musical genius. All they create is usually perfect for the most part. This album could allow for some missteps since the majority of the track listing is compiled of rough cuts, sketches, and unreleased alternate takes. Fortunately, and with all praise to Sly, this album only further cements the fact that Sly Stone is, and will always be a musical genius. When listening to material that was purposely not released to the public one would expect to hear something of lesser value but “I’m Just Like You” delivers top quality and then some. Comprised of material from the years 1969 and 1970 (right after Woodstock and right before the Family Stone would release their legendary ‘There’s A Riot Going On’ album) this album is a compilation tracks that were set to be released on Sly Stone’s short lived ‘Stone Flower’ label with distribution through Atlantic. After Woodstock Sly Stone was at the top of the world musically and as many do at this point he did a pretty abrupt 180, the future notoriously reclusive and elusive star locked himself in a studio with just a Maestro Rhythm King drum machine, the ‘Funk Box’ as the band would eventually come to call it, and his instruments and started what is perhaps the first collision of what is computer based equipment and live instrumentation. This amazing clash was something for listeners and it is not known if Sly used the drum machine just for sketches and demos only or truly intended to have finished songs come out with a locked in computer driven drum beat. ‘Riot’ a year later would come to utilize this technique but with this rare glimpse into Sly’s process we see early recordings of songs some with the ‘Funk Box’ keeping the beat and some with the full live band appearing a little bit later in the track listing. Most artist only want the listener to hear the final product but on this compilation their is a beautiful and more coherent version of “Just Like A Baby” and version of “Somebody’s Watching You’ sung by the group Little Sister and some of Mr. Stone’s funkiest tracks yet are handed off to San Fransisco soul singer Joe Hicks. With thumping basslines infused with rigid and precise drum programming underneath signature gospel organ riffs, all of course digitally remastered for the best sound, Sly Stone manages to drop another perfect album almost 50yrs after its conception. Even as just sketches and alternate takes this album is flawless and a much cherished piece of musical history. Another bonus to being a genius is that your work can be released half a century later and still be just as powerful.
The visuals are released for the latest Kanye West single which features legendary artist and former Beatle Paul McCartney.