Funk dirge with Funkadelic and Moodymann's takes on "Cosmic Slop"

Jan 4, 2015 at 9:56 am

We all know that Funkadelic's 1973 album Cosmic Slop is one of their best, though it was a commercial flop at the time. The LP was the first of many to feature Pedro Bell's distinctive artwork (who, last we heard of the Chicago native, he wasn't doing too well — really hope he is now). “Cosmic Slop,” the song, tells the story of a woman who prostitutes herself in order to feed her five children. One of her sons hears her pray for forgiveness, and the chorus is just the narrator, one of the five children, saying "I can hear my mother call," an interesting rejoinder to dozens of gospel numbers which have the same words, with different meaning. I didn't realize until last month that there's a promo video for it, shot in Times Square 33 years ago.

The title track's been stuck in my head this morning, which caused me to revisit Moodymann's "Sloppy Cosmic" released early last year. The Detroit house great was given access to the original master tapes, and his song is an effective remake/ updating of the song, with George Clinton himself adding new vocals. Both of these are heavy downer trips, of course, but of the best and most funkiest variety.