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!)
Legendary drummer and musical monk Questlove has recently stepped into the field of literature. Stepping from behind the drum set and turntables the Roots drummer gives his fans an in depth look into the life of one of today’s most acclaimed musicians. “Mo Meta’ Blues” is Thompson’s memoir and it doesn’t necessarily follow the standard path, there are breaks in the story, tidbits from the co-writer, dialogue, and the very special end-of-chapter “yearly” album shout out section. This section is the place where Questo stops the story to quickly break down each album that came out that year in his life during the story and pay homage to some of the music that helped influence this ground breaking musician. All and all this is a great read for any Hip-Hop or Roots fan but more importantly any fan of music should pick this book up. Like most memoirs it is filled with celebrity run-ins and encounters, and is a true honest glimpse into the brain of a musical genius.