In the Beginning: Hip Hop's Early Influences
Courtesy of the 3 Rivers Music Festival.
Enormous, influential, freaky, inspired, George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic was and remains one of funk's all-time legendary ensembles. Born in Kannapolis, North Carolina, on 22 July 1941 Clinton formed the first version of Parliament in the back of the barbershop where he was an employee. Throughout the 1970s various incarnations of Parliament, Funkadelic, or a massive combination of the two delighted audiences with their daring and groundbreaking funk, acid-rock, R&B fusion—to say nothing of the group's outrageously colorful costumes, jewelry, and cool shades. Not merely empty entertainment, Parliament-Funkadelic promoted free thinking, black pride, and courageous individuality, as in 1971's Free Your Mind and Your Ass Will Follow and 1981's Electric Spanking of War Babies. With the rise of rap and hip hop, the influence of Parliament-Funkadelic, sometimes neglected or misunderstood, would be keenly felt again.