George Clinton – “I’ve Always Been Funky”
Imagine what it’s like to work all your life creating something and the next thing you know, someone comes along and takes it from you. The funky legendary singer George Clinton can tell you all about it and does freely in his current book. Brothas Be, Yo Like George Aint That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You? is the recently released memoir of Clinton that goes into detail on the parties as well as the highs and paints an ugly picture of coming off that high.
Whether you lived through it or not, you should know that George Clinton’s obsession with doo-wop and R&B led him and some friends to form a barbershop quartet in the 50s. Over the next 6 decades he would help change the face of soul, pop and R&B and was the mastermind behind the bands, Parliament and it’s spin off, Funkadelic. Clinton and P-Funk had 40 R&B hit singles, three of which reached #1 on the charts. Similarly three of their albums would go platinum.
Fast forward to his recent book party and Clinton is screaming from the roof tops, to anyone that will listen. The book, co-written by Ben Greenman, details funny stories about Clinton and his times with idol Sly Stone living under the influence. Clinton also focuses on advocating for copyright laws for himself and other artists in the industry. After he sobered up and the high was gone, he realized way too late that he had been represented by poor management. He claims that they systematically stole the rights to his music. An unfortunate story and reality many artists and entertainers have to deal with.
He says about the book, “I couldn’t afford to fight this in court because people get paid off and you can’t get around that. So I decided to take it to the people and I put it in the book. I put that in the book, put the music in the book, put a beat behind it—and you gone dance.”
Clinton took 5 years to straighten himself out and 2 years to write the book. As for the music, it’s been 33 years since the last legitimate Funkadelic record. He added 33 tracks; for each one of those years. When asked about his book title, Clinton revealed, “Brotha’s was always asking if that funkin’ was hard on me?”—His response was, “Well no, cause I always been funky,” Clinton says with a smile.
During the moderated book party, people lined up in the cold for hours with tickets in hand, just to get inside. Once it started, Clinton entered to music, cheers and fans from the past and present. With artists like Kendrick Lamar sampling his music, Clinton is being re-introduced yet again, but to another new fan base.
During the event, moderated Mocha Ochoa-Nana of the Oracle Group led an open discussion with Clinton and he exposed a few details from his book, but pointed out that the main climax is on page 379… What’s the climax you ask… Guess you’ll have to get the book.