Funk Legend George Clinton on Cultural Appropriation: ‘We’ve Got to Get Over This Sh*t’

US musician George Clinton performs with the band Parliament at the Paradiso in Amsterdam on July 29, 2009. AFP PHOTO/ANP/ADE JOHNSON - Netherlands out - Belgium out (Photo credit should read ADE JOHNSON/AFP/Getty Images)
ADE JOHNSON/AFP/Getty Images

Legendary funk music pioneer George Clinton rejected the idea of so-called culture appropriation in music and pop culture.

When asked during a recent interview with Rolling Stone what he thought about “white artists doing black music?” Clinton said he’s borrowed creative ideas from iconic bands like the Beatles and insists that artists attempt to replicate what they admire about their peers.

“I’d bite off the Beatles, or anybody else. It’s all one world, one planet and one groove. You’re supposed to learn from each other, blend from each other, and it moves around like that,” the Grammy-winner said.

Musician George Clinton performs at the 2015 National Association of Music Merchants show at the Anaheim Convention Center on January 23, 2015 in Anaheim, California. (Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NAMM)

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic perform during the 2009 Voodoo Experience at City Park on October 31, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

The Parliament-Funkadelic founder’s five-decade career makes him an authority on the subject cultural appropriation — or the concept of taking black culture and profiting from it — which has rocked revered pop stars from Justin Timberlake to Justin Bieber.

“You see that rocket ship leave yesterday? We can maybe leave this planet. We gonna be dealing with aliens. You think black and white gonna be a problem? Wait till you start running into motherfuckers with three or four dicks! Bug-eyed motherfuckers!” the 1997 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee said. “They could be ready to party, or they could be ready to eat us. We don’t know, but we’ve got to get over this shit of not getting along with each other.”

Read the full Rolling Stone interview with George Clinton here.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson

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