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"The primary author of the P-Funk mythology aside from George Clinton was Pedro Bell, who illustrated the liner notes for many of P-Funk's releases. Bell's felt-tip illustrations included prolonged essays that expanded the mythos of Clinton's lyrics with a complementary syntax that "forged a new realm of black language" (source). Though Bell coined terms like "Rumpasaurus" and made extensive contributions to the P-Funk mythology, his work has been largely overlooked." --Sholem Stein

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

P-Funk (also spelled P Funk or P. Funk) is a musical genre associated with George Clinton and other members of the Parliament-Funkadelic collective, which had its heyday in the 1970s and continues to attract new fans thanks both to the legacy of samples it bequeathed to hip hop and the live shows that the bands continue to perform.


Origins Of The P


The etymology of the term P-Funk is subject to multiple interpretations. It has been identified alternately as an abbreviation of "Parliament-Funkadelic", "pure funk" or "Plainfield Funk", referring to Plainfield, New Jersey, the hometown of the band's original line-up. The liner notes of CD versions of the Motor Booty Affair album suggest that the "'P' stands for 'Pure.'" The breakout popularity of Parliament-Funkadelic elevated the status of P-Funk to describe what is now considered to be a genre of music in its own right. Fans of this genre of music often refer to it as "The P."

P-Funk should not be confused with punk funk as pioneered by Rick James and the Stone City Band, although James was clearly inspired by P-Funk.

Key P-Funk bands and musicians

Key P-Funk bands and musicians include:

Disciples of the P

The P-Funk sound influenced many musicians that followed, and helped to generate new sounds as well:

DJ Quik

The producer and rapper from Compton DJ Quik is probably the most "funkaholic" artist in the history of rap music. He paid homage to the P-Funk in his third album Safe + Sound (1995) with tracks like "Keep Tha 'P' In It".

Dr. Dre

World famous producer Dr. Dre is a great fan of P-Funk, and in the early 90s brought their music back into popular culture through the extremely heavy P-Funk samples characteristic of his G-Funk records and sound.

Public Enemy

Public Enemy sampled many P-Funk tracks to add power to their polemical 1990s rap albums, including "Give Up The Funk" (sampled in 1992's "Get Off My Back") and "Get Off Your Ass And Jam" (sampled in 1988's "Bring The Noise"). The band's very original and creative use of P-Funk samples not only helped shape the development of hip hop, but its musical innovations were reflected in George Clinton's own later work.


Another key disciple is OutKast's Andre 3000, and homages to P-Funk can be seen in the albums ATLiens and Stankonia. The track "Prototype" on OutKast's The Love Below is reminiscent of some of Bootsy Collins' 1970s P-Funk sex ballads.


A key disciple of the P-Funk was Prince, who helped defined the softer side of that 1980s Electro sound, and who collaborated with George Clinton on the most recent P-Funk albums.

Red Hot Chili Peppers

Another key disciple of P-funk are the Red Hot Chili Peppers. They originally started off as a focused P-funk band (their second album, Freaky Styley, was produced by George Clinton himself). Though they have evolved to a more funk rock sound, the influence of P-funk in their music is still quite prominent.

Other P Funk Sampling Hip Hop Artists

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "P-Funk" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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