Optimism is rampant during a conversation with Dr. Funkenstein George Clinton, and that sort of hope spreads especially to American politics these days. As a proud black man who lived through the civil rights movement, Clinton is overjoyed to see Barack Obama taking center stage in the presidential race.
“Chocolate City!” said Clinton excitedly during an interview in early September, referring to his 1975 album and song about the rise of the African-American population in Washington, D.C. “All that shit is coming through now! Yea, hell yeah!”
But Clinton is more excited about Obama’s message than his race. “I wouldn’t care if he was black or white or whatever if he’s talking like he’s talking, but I really thought it would be a black dude, because it takes a guy with some style to sell those good things,” said Clinton over the phone from his hotel room in the Netherlands. “Kennedy had to sell that shit, and he sold it good.”
And it’s about time for a change, said Clinton, remembering his days of pumping democracy into the USSR via Radio Free Europe. “Now we need somebody to do it to us,” he said, “to give us some choices and alternative thinking.” He hopes Obama offers that choice, although he admits there are many mountains to climb – candidates better “be squeaky clean,” Clinton said, because otherwise “they’ll go after your preacher.” But Clinton remains confident, explaining that Obama is “the right kind of pimp we need.”
George Clinton and Parliament-Funkadelic will close out this weekend’s three-day-long West Beach Music Festival on Sunday, September 14. Additional headliners include Natasha Bedingfield, Jason Mraz, and Ziggy Marley. Visit westbeachfestival.com for a complete lineup and ticket info.