Think of George Clinton and you’ll likely conjure an image of a crazy black man with rainbow dreads and garb befitting a galactic shaman literally barking at phat bottomed girls with a sub-atomic “WOOF!”
This lovable nutcase is the legendary and internationally renowned grandfather of funk and the founder of the Parliament-Funkadelic MOB, taking the sonic innovations of James Brown and Sly Stone to both outer space AND Neptune while selling millions of records and concert tickets in the process.
Clinton has returned with legendary producer Bobby Eli to release George Clinton and The Gangsters Of Love.
“I’m actually just trying to stay ahead of the game,” George said in a statement from the studio of co-producer Mark Bass (Eminem, 50 Cent).
“All of this music is coming back like I knew it would. Mark and I figured we’d mix some doo-wop, hip hop and techno doo wop and call it ‘re bop!’ I’ve been thinking about it for a while now Techno doo wop? “That’s when you play a slow ballad groove against a triple time beat. I first did that on ‘How Late Do You Have to Be Before You’re Absent.'”
George was very purposeful in the diversity of his special guests.
“I didn’t want the record to be ‘nostalgic,'” he stated. “I wanted to merge the old school with the new school. Some of the kids didn’t even know the original songs, so they did them their own way.”
George called his rag tag assemblage of talents the Gangsters of Love.
“Today, everybody wants to get their gangsta on,” he said. “Gangsters never want to admit that they’re in love, so they play it off. I’m trying to give them something they can take back to their ladies but still keep it gangsta.”
Thus the decades spanning boomerang ride of George Clinton and Some Gangsters of Love – songs dear to George’s heart such as the late, great Johnny Ace’s “Pledging my Love” from the `50s, Motown marvel Marvin Gaye’s “Ain’t That Peculiar” from the `60s and Maestro of Love Barry White’s “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” from the `70s.
“The Barry White song was hard as hell,” he admitted. “I had to do some for real work to get the intonation along with the groove. I’m really proud of it. I don’t know if I can do it on the stage yet (laughs), but we’ll see. People forget that I sang lead on ‘One Nation Under a Groove’ and ‘Knee Deep.’ I knew I still had it!”
George was also able to do tracks on home turf back in Detroit, including remakes of two of his songs: “Heart Trouble” (a `60s hit for The Parliaments) and “Mathematics of Love.”
“I originally wrote ‘Mathematics’ for Michael Jackson around the time of his Dangerous album, but me and the P-Funk All Stars wound up recording that upbeat version on our CD T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M (The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership) in 1996,” Clinton revealed “On Gangsters of Love, we slowed it down to a ballad for Kim Burrell, one of the greatest gospel singers in the world today.”
Gangsters of Love is in stores now.