As one of the pioneers of Funk music, North Carolina-born singer George Clinton has worked with and inspired a number of artists. During a recent interview with XXL magazine, the Parliament-Funkadelic lead singer was asked about hearing one of the first Parliament-Funkadelic samples on a Hip Hop song, De La Soul’s 1989 single “Me, Myself And I.”
In regards to Funk being sampled on Hip Hop records, he says the two genres have the same DNA.
“I mean, I loved all of the samples and the way the music was used,” George Clinton said. “To me, that’s just the way the new generation of people do things. When Rock ’N’ Roll came in the ’50s, people thought they was crazy. When we came along with funk in the ’60s and ’70s, people thought we was nuts. Hip Hop came along spittin’ the beat, they thought that was nuts. And now it’s done took over the world. And I feel like funk is the DNA right along with Hip Hop.”
George Clinton later explained that it felt “pretty natural” hearing his music sampled since he was already used to hearing songs paired with one another in the club.
“Well it seemed pretty natural because I had heard segues in clubs, how people would segue to get you onto the dance floor by playing one record and then immediately going into another,” he said. “You started hearing that coming. So it wasn’t a complete shock when I heard that people were making records.”
The Parliament-Funkadelic helmsman also spoke on what keeps him motivated, given the decades he’s already dedicated to music.
“The funk,” George Clinton said. “When you love what you’re doing, you figure out your position and a way to keep doing it. It’s not hard when you like what you’re doing. I’m having fun being able to just be here. What gave me the energy this time was this fight again with the court [over my copyrights]. I vowed that I wouldn’t get sick or tired until I kicked they ass. The Mothership is going into the Smithsonian next year. For that music to be disrespected the way the record companies are trying to do—nuh uh. I’m not gonna stand by for that. I won’t be funkin’ in the name of that.”
George Clinton’s interview with XXL magazine is featured in their Summer 2015 issue.