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A.S. Van Dorston

Related: music journalism - Funkadelic

The Afro-Alien Diaspora

by A.S. Van Dorston

Repeat after Bootsy:

I pledge allegiance to the funk,
the whole funk,
and nothing but the funk,
so help me James, Sly and George,

"As it is written henceforth...that on the Eighth Day, the Cosmic Strumpet of MOTHER NATURE was spawned to envelop this Third Planet in FUNKACIDAL VIBRATIONS. And She birthed Apostles Ra, Hendrix, Stone & Clinton to preserve all funkiness of man unto eternity..."
("Wet Epic Debauchery," liner notes, Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On, 1974)
"Behold, I am Funkadelic. I am not of your world. But fear me not, I will do you no harm. Loan me your funky mind and I shall play with it. For nothing is good unless you play with it. And all that is good, is nasty!"
("What Is Soul," Funkadelic, 1969)

As early as 1969, George Clinton and his "Parliament-Funkadelic Thang" took on the identities of funky aliens from outer space. Like Sun Ra and Lee "Scratch" Perry, Clinton grew up in a community where black people inhabited an otherized zone. These artists simply took a position of marginality and turned it into their own sur-reality, tweaked with their own imaginations. By the mid- seventies, Clinton took the boundary between science fiction and social reality and tie-dyed it. Clinton mostly used Parliament as his vehicle for sci-fi themes, while Funkadelic focused on Clinton's iconoclastic musical ideas. While I am giving the "Funkalelic" in P-Funk the often-neglected attention it deserves, the story of Parliament is too intertwined with Funkadelic to completely ignore. --http://www.fastnbulbous.com/funkadel.htm [Dec 2004]

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