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From Yesterday to Today: A Look at Jimi Hendrix, George Clinton and Outkast

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Essay title: From Yesterday to Today: A Look at Jimi Hendrix, George Clinton and Outkast

From Yesterday to Today: A Look at Jimi Hendrix, George Clinton and Outkast

Professor Jones

Nicole Jones

MUH-1350

Flamboyant colors, loud belted lyrics and original style; all are the makings of a true American rock star. The 1960’s in America were an especially difficult, emotional, and experimental years for most. Vietnam, Civil Rights and freedom of expression and speech are all important factors in the nonconformity of music during this time. One of the key players in the 1960’s music scene was an amazing performer named Jimi Hendrix. In the following paper I will explore the phenomenon that Jimi Hendrix brought to music, and how he in turn, influenced George Clinton, and Outkast to be the outstandingly different and successful artists they are today.

Jimi, born James Marshal Hendrix in Seattle, Washington, on November 27, 1942; was of American of African, European, Cherokee Indian and Mexican descent. Jimmy picked up his first guitar at the age of 12, and soon after feel deeply in love with it. At the age of 16, Jimi was thrown out of school for holding the hand of a white girl in class. He was an avid player of rock 'n' roll in small time bands before voluntarily joining the army at 17. After 14 months as a paratrooper, learning a lot about falling and flying, he suffered an injury and was discharged. He decided to enter the music field.

The following four years he worked hard touring and playing back-up guitar for various bands including Little Richard, Ike and Tina Turner, Wilson Pickett, the Isley Brothers and the late King Curtis among many others. Jimi was searching for something else in music, so the conditions were not suited to his radical temperament. He eventually was drawn to New York’s Greenwich Village where he recorded with the Isley Brothers, Curtis Knight and others.

In late 1965 he formed his first band - Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. They worked the clubs where he was seen by other musicians who immediately recognized his talent. The Jimi Hendrix Experience was formed soon after and there was a colorfully dressed black man, doing things with his guitar that was just not thought to be possible the average person. They toured Europe, breaking attendance records at one club after another, and then signed a recording contract.

Jimi was a completely different performer than any other of this time. Jimi used his guitar in many ways that were basically unconceivable, such as using his teeth to play, playing his guitar behind his head and breaking it into millions of pieces on stage. One of Jimi's spectacular performances, was when he ended it by holding his burning guitar above his head, was at the Monterey Pop Festival. This re-introduced him to a wildly receptive American audience, and instantly made him an American celebrity

1967, was his biggest year. Jimi had 4 singles and 2 albums in the British charts and two albums on the American charts at the exact same time. On December 1st, 1967 the Jimi Hendrix Experience unveiled a new album: "Axis: Bold As Love". Jimi's inventive sonic experiments had become mixed with rich lyrics, then executed with the purest expressive quality of the blues.

The Album "Are you Experienced?" had sold well over a million copies in the U.S. and the newly released "Axis" was rising in the top 20. Hendrix now decided to base himself in New York and start working on his next album: "Electric Ladyland". He stopped putting out albums after the night of September 17, 1970. It is believed he had committed suicide with a drug overdose. Jimi Hendrix was more then an influence, he was a history marker. By him being extremely different then all other performers of his time, it was no surprise that George Clinton learned a thing or too about true rock star class.

Born in Kannapolis, NC, on July 22, 1940, Clinton wanted to be anything but ordinary. He became interested in doo-wop while living in New Jersey during the early '50s. He shortly formed the Parliaments in 1955, which originally was based out of a barbershop back room where he had straightened hair for some time. The group had a small R&B hit during 1967, but Clinton began to mastermind the Parliaments' activities two years later and thought he should take the group a different route. Recording both as Parliaments and Funkadelic, the group revolutionized “R&B” during the '70s, changing soul music into funk by adding influences from several late-'60s heroes…example: Jimi Hendrix.

By the early 1970’s, the group’s songs had evolved dramatically into sprawling jams including the funkiest of rhythms. He decided to drop the

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