George Clinton and Parliament – The Funk We Need Now: George Clinton & Parliament Release Medicaid Fraud Dogg
Parliament’s new album, Medicaid Fraud Dogg, is the paradigm-shifting funk group’s first in 38 years. (release: C Kunspyruhzy Records Inc.; digital only) Their May 26 live performance at the L.A. Greek Theater kicked off George Clinton’s final world tour.
George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic will circle the globe in the next twelve months until they tear the roof off the sucker for the last time in May 2019, after which the Parliament-Funkadelic legendary juggernaut will continue on its own without Clinton.
“I had to get this music out there,” says trailblazing founder and lead singer and songwriter for the group, George Clinton. “I felt real creative urgency to give the world this, right now.”
The press release could end right there: Parliament and Clinton are woven into America’s pop cultural fabric so tightly, it’s hard to miss their iconic anthems and sound, their wild imagination and pervasive influence. Watch Guardians of the Galaxy 2, listen to just about any hip hop track (Dr. Dre’s “The Chronic,” say) or recent R&B single, ride certain rides at Disneyland, and you’ll hear them. Head to the Smithsonian, and you’ll see their unforgettable Mothership on permanent exhibit.
Clinton and Parliament have been instrumental not only in founding an entire genre, but also in forging the sound of several generations of younger musicians, inspiring, mentoring, and collaborating with the likes of Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Kendrick Lamar, to name a few.
Though the band hasn’t had a fresh album since 1980’s Trombipulation, they recently sold out the 17,000-seat Hollywood Bowl and freed the minds and asses of packed festival crowds at Coachella. Clinton is consulting producer for Season 2 of Mike Judge’s Tales from the Tour Bus on HBO/Cinemax, and all episodes will feature funk legends. In fact, Clinton has been so busy doing everything from blockbuster European tours to curating vinyl subscriptions, it’s shocking he’s had time to lay down new tracks.
Medicaid Fraud Dogg jumped out of the furious activity, as Clinton listened to “Flying Lotus, Cardi B, Kendrick Lamar, Jay Z’s new album, Tra’Zae, and all that shit coming out of Atlanta. All that trap shit. I’m trapped in it,” as he explained to fans on Reddit in a recent AMA.
Yet while diving in and out of what’s hot in music, Clinton keeps his own radically singular perspective and his hallmark push for change through funk. Medicaid Fraud Dogg is a wild and funky musical excursion through the inner workings of the corrupt modern American medical machine, with tracks like “Medicated Creep”, “Pain Management”, “Psychotropic”, “Insurance Man”, and “I’m Gon Make You Sick O’Me.”
“Whenever political shit gets to like what’s going on now, you always find that music rises up to be a part of it. This reminds me so much of ’66 and ’67 when the Vietnam War was heating up and people started understanding together the civil rights concept that everyone was fighting for,” Clinton told Noisey in a recent interview. “The women’s march, all that needed was some funky music to it. They had different causes, but they all know positivity and felt that they had to be there together, and that’s what’s going to happen with this shit. You’re going to get so many people rising up that the whole country is going to come together. Funk will be around when that shit is needed. You have to dance your way out of your constrictions, and you need some funky music to do that.”