(also spelled P Funk
or P. Funk
) is a shorthand term for the repertoire and performers associated with George Clinton
and the Parliament-Funkadelic
collective and the distinctive style of funk
music they performed. The P-Funk groups had their heyday in the 1970s and continue to attract new fans thanks both to the legacy of samples
they bequeathed to hip hop
and the live shows that the bands continue to perform.
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.
Musical elements that characterize the P-Funk style include:
Key P-Funk bands and musicians
Key P-Funk bands and musicians include:
The P-Funk sound influenced many musicians that followed, and helped to generate new sounds as well:
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".
World famous producer Dr. Dre
is a great supporter 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.
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"), and "Flash Light
" (sampled in "911 Is A Joke"). 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
. George Clinton can be heard making a guest appearance on the track "Synthesizer" off Aquemini
. The track "Prototype" on Andre's The Love Below
is reminiscent of some of Bootsy Collins' 1970s P-Funk sex ballads. The track "A Bad Note" that ends Idlewild
is an homage to Funkadelic's track "Maggot Brain
A key disciple of the P-Funk was Prince
, who helped define the softer side of that 1980s Electro
sound. George Clinton's albums The Cinderella Theory
and Hey Man, Smell My Finger
were issued on Prince's Paisley Park Records
label. Clinton appeared as a character in Prince's film Graffiti Bridge
, in which the two duetted on the song "We Can Funk". Prince later collaborated with Clinton on the track "Paradigm" from How Late Do U Have 2BB4UR Absent?
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