DOCTOR OF THE FUNK – The Honorable George Clinton

DOCTOR OF THE FUNK – The Honorable George Clinton

One who started out as a hair stylist and a staff writer for Motown Records in the late 60s, these days is known as one of the architects of FUNK.  To honor his contributions and innovative approach to music, Berklee will grant the musician a Doctorate of Music degree on February 16th.

What many may not know, is that his latter day recognition was heavily influenced, encouraged and essentially engineered by former Sony music executive Vivian Scott-Chew.  In 1996, a little more than ten years after the release of his smash hit “Atomic Dog” on Capitol Records, a then Vivian Scott signed Clinton to Sony 550.  The new project, T.A.P.O.A.F.O.M. (The Awesome Power of a Fully Operational Mothership), resurged Clinton’s career into the main stream and reunited him with several old members of Parliament and Funkadelic. That same year he appeared on Tupac’s track “U Can’t See Me” from the late rappers CD “All Eyez on Me.”  This wasn’t the first time Clinton had worked with a rapper and wouldn’t be the last, three years prior to that he joined Ice Cube on his CD “Lethal Injection,” which sampled his big Funkadelic hit “One Nation Under a Groove.”  As recent as 2007, Clinton appeared on Snoop Dogg’s album, “Tha Blue Carpet Treatment.”  Other hip-hop artists he’s worked with include Redman, OutKast, Souls of Mischief, Wu-Tang Clan, and Killah Priest.  His work with so many rappers has been a key factor in keeping his presence relevant in today’s pop culture.

In 2008, George released his CD “George Clinton and his Gangsters of Love,” that saw him team up with fellow living legend Sly Stone.  In 2009, Clinton was awarded the Urban Icon Award from Broadcast Music Incorporated, better known as music publisher BMI.  On May 20, 2010, George Clinton received a proclamation from Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs of Plainfield, New Jersey, the city in which he was raised, at a fundraiser for the Barack Obama Green Charter High School, which is focused on creating leaders in sustainability for the 21st Century.  Next month, Clinton will spend four days on the Berklee College of Music’s campus in Boston, where he’ll conduct a Master Class in addition to receiving his Doctorate degree. The Berklee P-Funk Ensemble has been a popular group since the 1990s.  George made a surprise visit and directed the group for an MTV special a few years back.  This year during Black History Month, he returns there for a four-day residency and concert, covering his artistic trajectory from Parliament in the 1960s to Funkadelic during the 80s, and his amazing ongoing solo career.

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