Reconstructing the Mothership: Meaning and History in the Music of P-Funk
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During the 1970s, the Parliament-Funkadelic collective, or P-Funk, performed a unique type of funk music that impacted the lives and culture of generations of fans. Their music has been a vital force in the developments of popular music, redefining the limits of concept albums and performances, and opened the doors to funk rock, hip hop, and neo-soul. I address the ways in which P-Funk has been received, interpreted, and reconstructed by the diverse constituents of American popular culture from the 1960s to the present. Each chapter explores a discrete interpretive community that has granted meaning to the collective from perspectives of history, music, iconography, consumer culture, and popular entertainment media. The resulting study unifies these threads through their engagement with history and the evolution of P-Funk through time. Ultimately, this thesis seek to shed light on a group that has lacked thorough scholarly attention.