, the Parliafunkadelicment Thang handmade a funky lingua franca for post-deseg black generations, and deployed Pentecostal-bred harmonies to the end of deconstructing the many ways the Devil lurks in this amber-waved Babylon. So why did Clinton & Co. delve into America's religious lunatic fringe via a flirtation with Swinging London-era Scientology spinoff the Process Church—a faith best known for drawing ire due to their dual worship of both Christ and Satan?
It was one thing for golden Beach Boy Dennis Wilson to pal around Los Angeles with Charlie Manson—or even Manson admirer Neil Young to extol his actions and late-'60s LA malaise on the great "Revolution Blues." However, the ambitions of good colored boys in shiny suits with conked 'dos and precision dance steps were only supposed to extend to crossing over to White America—or the River Jordan to the Promised Land in the afterlife—not the hellfires of the old Delta bluesmen the doo-wop singers' parents had abandoned way off Route 66 before their Great Migration to Detroit's assembly lines. The split between the sacred and the profane, between Saturday night fish-fry folks and upstanding Sunday morning parishioners, has been very stark in African American history, such that there was likely little to no method of kenning the erstwhile Parliaments' shift from lye processes to the Process tenets as laid out in the album art for Maggot Brain and America Eats its Young.
Way before the White Stripes declared "get behind me Satan!" their freaky-deak Motor City forbears in Funkadelic were tripping out at United Sound and rapping about lowdown folks pimping Mother Nature to produce biracial trick babies in the form of myriad societal ills. America Eats its Young's title track sports a doo-wop-ing deus ex machina waxing about "A luscious bitch/She is true/It's not nice to fool Mother Nature," replete with spectral howls and high lonesome whining guitar riffs, before "Miss Lucifer's Love" renovates the time-worn blues trope of a Devil-in-a-red-dress for the Metal Age ("She's the Devil and I like it!"). And the LP's best song, "Biological Speculation," essentially hinges on the rootsy-ness of African retention and Afrofuturism.If anyone should embrace the Good God's adversary/America's Public Enemy #1 it's enslaved Africans and their descendants, for the imperial agents of Islam and Christianity brought death and destruction to their native civilizations and constricted them in the West.
America's never truly gotten past the imagined haunting gaze of inscrutable redskin savages watching settlements from the woods. And it's this American gothic, the primal horror to which Americans ritually sacrifice that Funkadelic limned on its chaotic answer record to Sgt. Pepper and Exile On Main Street by displaying a lily-white vampiress Lady Liberty gorging on multiracial babies, and opining on everything from segregated hipster culture ("Philmore") to clowning Mick Jagger's Bantu-philia on "Miss Lucifer's Love." This was the original Black Sabbath. In the wake of James Brown, George Clinton and his black rock peers were repping for the O.G. Ethiopian rocker, Dionysus, and prophesying that we shall overcome aboard ancient Kemet's Ark of a Million Years, escaping America's hell on earth for black folks in "A Joyful Process" (ripping the kiddie Christian song even an Atheist like me was raised singing: "Jesus Loves Me"). So why not shake down Satan?