Hey Man...Smell My Finger (1993)

(George Clinton)

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Track Listing:

Martial Law (Hey Man...Smell My Finger)  
	{G Clinton, William Bryant III, Kerry Gordy}  7:13
Paint The White House Black  
	{Barrett Strong, Norman Whitfield, G Clinton, W Bryant, K Gordy}  7:49
Way Up {G Clinton, Foley McCreary}  5:07
Dis Beat Disrupts {Tracey Lewis}  3:30
Get Satisfied {G Clinton, Michael Payne, T Lewis}  3:56
Hollywood {T Lewis, Dallas Austin}  5:22
Rhythm & Rhyme {G Clinton, J Pandy, D Galea, P Hope}  5:40
The Big Pump {Prince, G Clinton}  3:34
If True Love {G Clinton, T Lewis}  3:57
High In My Hello {G Clinton, Steve Washington}  5:17
Maximumisness {G Clinton, Bill Laswell, W Collins}  5:03
Kickback {G Clinton, F McCreary}  3:41
The Flag Was Still There {G Clinton, T Lewis, Steven Boyd, Phelps Collins}  5:58
Martial Law (single version)  4:14


Instrumentalists: Richard Arrigo, Jeff Bass, Mark Bass, Aaron Blackmon,
 Matt "Atlanta Bliss" Blistan, Steven "Marooga" Bookvitch, William Bryant III,
 Dennis Chambers, Catfish Collins, Bootsy Collins, Gary Cooper, Tom Daugherty,
 DJ D'Zire, Joseph "Amp" Anthony Fiddler, Flea, Foley, Larry Fratangelo,
 Alan Friedman, Morris Hayes, Herbie Hancock, Kirk Johnson, Eric Leeds, 
 Roger Lynch, Tracey Lewis, Gordon "Rated G" McGuiness, DeWayne McKnight,
 Gregory David Moore, Maceo Parker, Darren Perteet, Levi Seacer Jr, 
 Garry Shider, David Spradley, Steven Sykes, Sonny Y, Paca Thomas, Piano Man,
 Steve Washington, Fred Wesley, Bernie Worrell

Vocalists: Dallas Austin, Deborah Barsha, Daryl Boudreaux, Steven Boyd, 
 Sheila Brody, Jessica Cleaves, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Gary Cooper,
 Pupa Curley, Lige Curry, Sandra Dance, N'Dea Davenport, Ray Davis, Dr Dre,
 Amp Fiddler, Foley, Rosalind "Mallia" Franklin, Theopolis "Chip" Glass,
 Adrian "Blue" Goms, Kerry Gordy, Tasha Griffin, Joseph Harris, Candace
 Harrisson, Paul Hill, Humpty Hump, Ice Cube, JCool, Robert Johnson, Louie
 Kabbabie, Kam, Anthony Kiedis, Deborah Killing, Deana Klug, Lay Back, 
 TreyLewd, Pat Louis, Roger Lynch, MC Breed, Carolyn McClure, Michael Payne,
 Pee Wee, Schmoovy-Schmoov, Garry Shider, the Steeles {Fred, JD, Jearlyn,
 Jevetia}, Steven Sykes, Grady Thomas, Nicole Tyndall, Andre Williams,
 Tony Wilson, Belita Woods, Angela Workman, Yo-Yo

"Rhythm & Rhyme", "If True Love" and "High In My Hello" prod by Clinton
"Martial Law", "Paint The White House Black"  produced by Clinton/Gordy/Bryant
"Way Up", "Get Satisfied" produced by Clinton/Foley
"Dis Beat Disrupts" produced by Clinton/McKnight
"Hollywood" produced by Clinton/Austin
"The Big Pump" produced by Prince/Clinton
"Maximumisness" produced by Clinton/Laswell
"Kickback" produced by Clinton/Shider/Foley
"The Flag Was Still There" produced by Clinton/Shider

Rating: RC: ***1/2


RC: A rather diffuse but very entertaining album as George starts to go back to his earlier roots while still continuing his rap experiments. A jillion guest stars make this album hard to pin down. The best songs are the Foley productions ("Way Up", "Get Satisfied", "Kickback"). The Laswell tune ("Maximumisness") may be the best overall track. The ballad ("If True Love") and the Prince tune ("The Big Pump") are the worst. The rap songs are all good, but sound very rushed. George's voice sounds very tired on these songs-- I've heard much better versions live. And many of these songs grew out of Clinton's stage act in 1989-90. One of the problems with the album is that much of the material had been recorded a year or two earlier, and just sat while assorted problems kept it from being released, commercial viability being one of them. Clinton finally hooked up with new jack producers Kerry Gordy and William Bryant III, who hit on the idea of recruiting a number of Clinton's hip-hop disciples to rap on a song. The result was "Paint The White House Black", a rehash of "Chocolate City" with some interesting moments. The Bill Clinton/George Clinton wordplay was duly utilized, as was the Bill C. 'inhaling' jokes. But the overall result was someone trying to fit 1 1/2 albums onto one; a lot of the material didn't fit.

"Martial Law" samples a number of popular P.Funk tunes as the body of its music, most obviously "Atomic Dog." The song can't quite decide if it wants to be a 'funk in review' type jam, or a song about serious political issues. Clinton gets very specific in his targets (L.A. cops, the government), while at the same time going into a funny story about someone bootlegging funk. A lot of good concepts, but no cohesion. "Paint The White..." focuses on the government pulling our strings yet again, trying to set up divisions between white and black, and 'the pro- this and anti-that.' "Way Up" is an enjoyable little jam, punctuated by a great horn solo from Eric Leeds. This is one of the Clinton-Foley collaborations, and while not a standout, it's a good album mood piece. "Dis Beat Disrupts" features some great rapping from George and others, but it's dull musically. "Get Satisfied" is one of the swingingest tunes on here, with great rapping, engaging horns, good singing, and hilarious lyrics. This one is also a concert favorite. "Hollywood" is a takeoff on Funkadelic's "Holly Wants To Go To California", only this time it's a sly slam on Hollywood's artificiality. The highlight is a great Blackbyrd guitar solo. "Rhythm And Rhyme" is the true hip-hop extravaganza on here. It does fall short of the brilliance it often achieved live, but the lyrics flow so well from George and the crew that it's still a great track. GC's voice continues to sound raspy, and Humpty-Hump's intro rap is surprisingly low-key. Bootsy's fuzz bass is the musical highlight. "The Big Pump" is a large waste of space, a few minutes of techno-dance funk junk. "If True Love" is an atrociously cheesy attempt at a ballad from Belita Woods. Her voice doesn't match the material or the music, neither of which are interesting. The album picks up again and sustains its momentum, starting with "High In My Hello". This song is a rowdy, fun number with more smooth hornwork, solid percussion, and good singing from George, who 'is not a preacher or a teacher'. "Maximumisness" is a funky, mellow groove from Clinton and Laswell. It has that certain Laswell ambient touch, with Herbie Hancock on keyboards. The lyrics center around a food/funk theme, tying in with the idea of manipulation: 'The shepherd has pulled the wool over our eyes/ May I take your order?' The horn hooks drive the whole thing. "Kickback" is the funkiest cut on the album, making references to Jes Grew and containing the horn hook from Bootsy's "Under The Influence Of A Groove". Foley's bass really drives things along, with small contributions from keyboards and guitar. "The Flag Was Still There" features the percussion of Larry Fratangelo and a great scat intro from Ray Davis. It's another great dis rap from George that grooves along on the strength of its lyrical rhythm.