Book Review: Brothas Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard on You?

clintonBrothers Be, Yo Like George, Ain’t That Funkin’ Kinda Hard On You? Is a memoir by George Clinton.  It starts with George recalling his earliest memory – a bomb during WWII when he was 4 years old.  He also mentions that legend has it he was born in an outhouse, though he’s unable to prove it.  His father instilled in him hard work and his mother instilled in him her love for music.

He was living in NJ in the 50s and he says that was a breeding ground for music. He was not only fascinated by the song but also how songs were marketed.  I also liked how he talked about the different musical eras through the years – doowop to motown to funk.

I really liked reading about his life and the lyrics for situations that were inserted throughout the book.

The end of the book not only had George’s discography but also a “sampleography” which is something I had not seen before which listed all the songs that sampled any of George’s songs! There were quite a few on this list that I was familiar with, even though I probably couldn’t have told you any of George’s songs off hand before reading this.

I received a free e-copy of this book in order to write this review. I was not otherwise compensated.

About the Book

The long-awaited memoir from one of the greatest bandleaders, hit makers, and most influential pop artists of our time—known for over forty R&B hit singles—George Clinton of Parliament-Funkadelic.

George Clinton began his musical career in New Jersey, where his obsession with doo-wop and R&B led to a barbershop quartet—literally, as Clinton and his friends also styled hair in the local shop—the way kids often got their musical start in the ’50s. But how many kids like that ended up playing to tens of thousands of rabid fans alongside a diaper-clad guitarist? How many of them commissioned a spaceship and landed it onstage during concerts? How many put their stamp on four decades of pop music, from the mind-expanding sixties to the hip-hop-dominated nineties and beyond?

One of them. That’s how many.

How George Clinton got from barbershop quartet to funk music megastar is a story for the ages. As a high school student he traveled to New York City, where he absorbed all the trends in pop music, from traditional rhythm and blues to Motown, the Beatles, the Stones, and psychedelic rock, not to mention the formative funk of James Brown and Sly Stone. By the dawn of the seventies, he had emerged as the leader of a wildly creative musical movement composed mainly of two bands—Parliament and Funkadelic. And by the bicentennial, Clinton and his P-Funk empire were dominating the soul charts as well as the pop charts. He was an artistic visionary, visual icon, merry prankster, absurdist philosopher, and savvy businessmen, all rolled into one. He was like no one else in pop music, before or since.

Written with wit, humor, and candor, this memoir provides tremendous insight into America’s music industry as forever changed by Clinton’s massive talent. This is a story of a beloved global icon who dedicated himself to spreading the gospel of funk music.

Category: Book Review
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