Shepard Fairey is taking a break from his politcal messages this week for the release of poster featuring the Godfather of Funk George Clinton who at 75 is still showing the little boys how it's done.
I remember hearing George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog” as a kid, but I didn’t really become hip to P-Funk (Parliament and Funkadelic) until the late 80’s, and early 90’s. At that time I realized how much of my favorite hip hop included samples from P-Funk and George’s other projects as a creator and producer. Clinton’s P-Funk inspired the West Coast G-Funk sound, and his influence can be heard all over the N.W.A family tree of Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Ice Cube as well as contemporaries like Ice-T, Digital Underground, Tupac, De La Soul, Public Enemy, Notorious BIG, Wu-Tang and many more. Clinton has worked with acts as diverse as Zapp & Roger, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Kendrick Lamar, his contribution to modern music is massive.George Clinton Flash Light. 18 x 24 inches. Screen Print. Signed by Shepard Fairey. Edition of 450. $65. Available Thursday, December 1 at 10AM (PST) on ObeyGiant.com
I met George at Art Basel in 2009 when he stopped by to check out a mural that I was creating. He was friendly and funny, so I felt at ease. George mentioned that he made art and said he might want to stop by my studio in LA sometime and I thought he was just being cordial, but sure enough, he has dropped by a couple of times! We talked about music, including drug raids and police harassment when he toured with fellow Detroit natives The MC5. We also talked about me doing a portrait of him and the time finally came when I was asked to be part of a P-Funk art show. “Flash Light” is one of my favorite Parliament songs, so I riffed on that as an opportunity to put the spotlight on a musical hero of mine who happens to be a very cool and funny guy.