Funkadelic’s George Clinton on WMC 2015 and the Funk in Techno
The prime minister of funk, George Clinton.
Photo by Will Thorne
George Clinton has a long and wild history with Miami. Not only did he snort giant mountains of coke in Brickell's Four Ambassadors Hotel while George H.W. Bush declared his War on Drugs from inside the same building, but he also cooked a giant crack rock here that he refused to smoke until the end of the Atomic Dog tour.
George Clinton and WMC's 30th-Anniversary Party
The Magic City is where he launched the famous fishing trips to Bimini with Bootsy Collins that inspired Parliament's Motor Booty Affair album. And Clinton often recorded at Criteria Studios (now Hit Factory) in North Miami. He even used to get his hair done in Coconut Grove. Now he's back to get his feet wet on Miami Beach by celebrating the 30th anniversary of Winter Music Conference with the official drop of the Little Louie Vega remix to his latest hit, "Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain't That Funkin' Kinda Hard on You?"
The first time Vega tested a version of that track, he had a crowd in Africa singing the chorus so loudly that the mothership heard their chants from outer space. This time, Clinton will perform it live with backup singers, musicians, and the great DJ himself at the Deauville Beach Resort. It's sure to be a massive spectacle because everyone involved specializes in over-the-top theatrics, heavy bass, and funking audiences harder than a ton of Bolivian bricks.
Later this year, Clinton's new Parliament-Funkadelic album will come out, and he just finished cutting a single with Kendrick Lamar.
"We're all one nation under a groove," he says, referencing his band Funkadelic's longtime rallying cry. And as for mixing classic funk with new and current styles of dance and hip-hop, he offers that " "The funk can be found in anything that comes around." "
His Louie Vega collaboration came by way of a family connection. "Oh, he's down with a friend of mine, a nephew who does dance music," the Parliament legend says. "They hooked me up with him, and now we're here." And he expects to have an ass-shaking good time at WMC. After all, according to Clinton, "Booty-shaking is medicinal."
These dance-music funxperiments may sound like a far cry from the birth of rock 'n' roll in which he participated in the 1950s or his pioneering work from the '70s, but Clinton insists, "It's all basically the same thing. That's what funk do. Whether it's hip-hop, techno, or electronic, when you're dancing, it all goes together with the funk. I like to mix stuff, and when the people hear it, they gon' be jamming and rocking and funking and dancing all at once. That's the whole thing."
George Clinton and WMC's 30th-Anniversary Party. As part of the Funkified Poolside Get-Down Jam. With Louis Vega, Soul Clap, and others. Presented by Vagabonds-at-Large and Vega Records. Noon to 10 p.m. Wednesday, March 25, at Deauville Beach Resort, 6701 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-865-8511; deauvillebeachresort.com. Admission is free for WMC passholders. Tickets cost $30 to $40 plus fees via wantickets.com. Ages 21 and up.
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