If you’re in the frame of mind that funk has been asleep for approximately the last 38 years, you’ll be pleased to know it’s awake now: George Clinton and Parliament just dropped their first new album since 1980, a surprise, digital-only recording called Medicaid Fraud Dogg, streaming now. Clinton, the deeply influential forefather of funk (and all its winding genre successors), formed Parliament in the early ‘70s as part of his famed Parliament-Funkadelic collective. The group teased this release earlier in the year with a single called “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’Me,” but their most recent LP was 1980’s Trombipulation. Medicaid Fraud Dogg, as the title might suggest, examines the shortcomings of America’s modern medical institutions—in the most funky way possible.
In April, the groovy maestro also announced he’ll be retiring from touring. But don’t worry, Clinton is still currently on the road as part of the international Parliament-Funkadelic 2018 tour, the dates for which you can find on the Parliament website. This weekend’s May 26 show at the famous Greek Theatre in L.A. will kick off the final leg of Clinton’s touring excursions, wrapping up a year from now in May 2019, according to a press release.
Much of today’s hip-hop, rap R&B and trap music can be traced back to sounds defined by the legendary Clinton and his groovy cooperatives. As he recently pointed out in an “Ask Me Anything” Reddit thread, he’s following that funk lineage, listening 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.” Fragments of hip-hop and rap can certainly be heard on Medicaid Fraud Dogg, such as the Scarface-featuring “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’Me,” though Clinton also retains his distinctly funky warp, recognizable in his music as early as Parliament’s 1974 record Up For The Down Stroke.
Elsewhere in the entertainment sphere, Clinton is signed on to produce the second season of Cinemax series Mike Judge Presents: Tales from the Tour Bus, which will explore, in its same animated style, the touring antics of legendary funk performers.
You can stream Parliament’s latest on Spotify or Apple Music, and preview the LP with “I’m Gon Make U Sick O’ Me” below. Further down, watch Clinton and his troupe perform “Atomic Dog” circa 1999.