It was 1976 when yours truly right along with Parliaments’, “Give up the funk (tear the roof off the sucka)” came into this world blasting. If we have to start somewhere when talking about Funk music this is about as ideal as we can get. Registering as the second single off the LP Mothership Connection, this record has influenced seemingly every facet of today’s culture. Like you weren’t shaking it last time you heard this jam.
Speaking of influences, you name an R&B, Funk, Jazz, or Disco artist anytime in the last 40 or so years and it’s probably safe to assume they’ve been influenced in some way, shape, or form by Parliament-Funkadelic. You can call the group a natural phenomenon in music and the chain of influences do not stop. For example, as Prince (another funk legend in his own right) was inducting the group into the Rock’n’Roll hall of fame in May of 1997, he claimed that one night after catching a P-Funk show and vibing off of( Not Just) Knee Deep, he went home that night and wrote Erotic City. Fast forward a decade later after Prince’s release, George and the gang covered Erotic City and did it much justice by the way. This is probably a more rare example of how musicians inspire each other, but still demonstrates that cycle and chain of influence and inspiration.
The cool thing about a true timeless classic piece of music like Give Up The Funk, by definition just never gets old. I mean, personally I can dig just about anything that comes out today. I can bump most of it. But nearly all of it doesn’t stand the test of time. Yes I listen to today’s music. It’s cool, catchy, but unfortunately a lot of it can be summed up to just regurgitated samples of classics like this. I guess I sound like I’m knocking today’s music now. I’m really not, but more speaking to how beyond comparison this particular piece, genre, and this time period of music is. To be clearer I think it is actually important (to me anyways) that the new keeps recycling the old. It keeps the classics alive and relevant. Unless an artist just does a horrible job and destroys a classic.
The jam I can call out that turned me on to this specific record starts with MC Hammer’s Turn this mutha out. Chino, California in 1988 when all of the fellas where trying to dance just like Hammer. That chorus in the song chanting over and over and catching you by the ear hook, line, and sinker. It wasn’t until about three or four years later when I even considered checking out the original jam my music was sampling. But once I did, the O.G. stuff reigned in my book. As far as I’m concerned, it really doesn’t get too much better than P-Funk.
Label: Casablanca – released 1976