[Editor's Note: Kris Needs is the author of "George Clinton and the Cosmic Odyssey of the P-Funk Empire," Clinton's first in-depth biography. It was released in June on Omnibus Press. Needs wrote this essay about Clinton's cultural impact exclusively for Heard Mentality.]
Photo By Groove House
By: Kris Needs
Let me tell you all about the one and only George Clinton, who can be placed alongside James Brown, Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone as the most visionary and influential black music pioneer to emerge from the incendiary 1960s but is now the only one of those figureheads still taking it to the stage.
While America was embroiled in war and socio-cultural revolution during the '60s, Clinton was reinventing funk by mating it with rock and changing rock by mixing it with funk, giving birth to the influential psychedelic soul style that has made him the most sampled artist in hip-hop. His synthesized funk of the late 1970s and early '80s created a new strain of techno-soul that laid the foundations for today's electronic dance music.