Borough President Melinda Katz and NYC Parks present the Only in Queens Summer Festival featuring George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic.
P-Funk architect & funk innovator with a host of Queen’s own classic hip-hop pioneers as part of The Only In Queens Summer Festival
The granddaddy of funk! Rock and Roll Hall of Famer George Clinton, along with James Brown and Sly Stone, is credited as one of the principal engineers of funk, a groovy mix of soul, R&B, disco and rock elements. Clinton started off his prolific career as a staff songwriter at Motown Records in the 1960’s. He later orchestrated the construction of two of the earliest bands in the funk classification, Parliament and Funkadelic, which would eventually merge under the name P-Funk (which later morphed into the P-Funk All-Stars). Their sound was a magnificent union of influencers Jimi Hendrix, Cream and Brown (The Godfather of Soul), and would earn them over 40 R&B smash singles (with three #1’s) and an impressive three platinum albums. The 80’s saw Clinton’s solo career launch (still performing with numerous members of P-Funk), as well as a delving into producing, for hot acts Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bootsy Collins and more. With wildly named tracks like “Loopzilla,” “Atomic Dog,” and “Do Fries Go with That Shake?” (that perfectly mirrored his kaleidoscopic sound), Clinton continued to top the charts. Clinton delighted as rap artists sampled his music, enjoying the compensation. As he put it, “Aint a better time to get paid than when you’re my age.” With sixteen albums to his name, Clinton continues to tour and set the stage afire with original funk.
One of the only hip hop groups in history to unite artists from New York City and Canada, Main Source’s diversified sound is due in no small part to their border-crossing origins. The original lineup included two Toronto-based DJ/producers, Sir Scratch and K-Cut, and one Queens-native MC/producer, Large Professor. The aforementioned Professor would eventually vacate the group and be replaced by New York local MC Mikey D, keeping the Queens contingency intact. The unit’s first album, 1991’s Breaking Atoms, was well received, with thought-provoking singles “Looking at the Front Door,” “A Friendly Game of Baseball,” and “Watch Roger Do His Thing” getting the most traction. A brief derailment for the group followed, but with Mikey D supplanted into the reformed trio, they were able to release 1994’s (Expletive) What You Think. The group was propelled to an even wider audience as Madonna sampled the bassline track from “What You Need” for her hit “Human Nature.” All of the group’s members (past and present) continued to enjoy success in the industry, with K-Cut breaking out and producing music for the likes of Big Pun, Maestro Fresh-Wes, Fu-Schnickens, Queen Latifah, and Shaquille O’Neal.
R&B soul sisters, a charming pop duo and protégés of Queen Bey
Born in Atlanta, singers Chloe and Halle Bailey moved to Los Angeles while still in their teens to pursue careers in music. This was undoubtedly the right decision for these two precocious and soulful vocalists. In 2013 their cover of the song “Pretty Hurts” went viral, racking up nearly 12 million views. This caught the eye and ear of Beyoncé, who promptly signed them to her management company, Parkwood Entertainment. Chalking up critical acclaim and further fan admiration, they also won Disney’s Next Big Thing competition, in its fifth season. Their debut EP, Sugar Symphony, was released in 2016, featuring the lead single “Drop.” The boisterous video for this track has over three million views on YouTube, and the song “Fall” that followed also performed remarkably well. The two sisters are exceptionally camera-friendly too, with numerous TV and film appearances, and perhaps most notable, a cameo in Beyoncé’s Lemonade visual album. Recently they served as Beyoncé’s opening act for the European leg of The Formation World Tour, and participated in Michelle Obama’s “Let Girls Learn” initiative. They currently stun audiences all over with their pure, combined talent and energy.
Marlon Williams came out swinging in the hip hop world, establishing himself as one of the first ever mega-producers. Known as Marley Marl, this DJ/MC was an architect in sampling, utilizing new-found techniques that would shock and galvanize the collective sound of hip hop. A master prognosticator for new talent, Williams created the Cold Chillin’ label, and put together a cadre of NYC’s rising stars, namely MC Shan, Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Roxanne Shanté, Kool G Rap & DJ Polo, and Masta Ace. With his dexterous fingers at the control board in the engineering both, Marley Marl brought out the best in each of these performers. Adding his signature, lifted samples and bountifully catchy beats to their words, Williams made their compositions more accessible to the entire music sphere. With his James Brown-esque simulated grooves and original drum loop fabrication, Marl’s sound was undeniably current. His initial foray into group assembling saw the creation of the famed Juice Flow. Williams would release records under his own name as well, including an eponymous LP in 1988. His first true mainstream success came as the producer for LL Cool J’s ubiquitous played Mama Said Knock You Out in 1990. Over the years, as the form evolved, he would work with hip hop and R&B heavyweights TLC, Rakim, Capone-N-Noreaga, Fat Joe and even longtime rival KRS-One.
Hosted by Roxanne Shante