Atomic Dog, from 1982 is an absolute granddaddy of a track by George Clinton, responsible for so many samples(seriously, go look for yourself, it’s a hell of a list), and perhaps his definitive solo track. High squealing keyboards lead to a low, dirtiest of dirty funky basslines and a wonderfully surreal set of lyrics growled by George.
Snoop Dogg actually lost a court case over Who am I (what’s my name) to another rapper who claimed that he’d stolen the way he used that line and said dog. That’s copyright law for you.
“Why must I feel like that?
Why must I chase the cat?
Nothing but the dog in me.”
So simple and almost nursery-rhyme like, and yet also questioning the very nature of both nature, and the male sexual drive all at once.
Look out for George Clinton early on in the video wearing a suit that I can only assume was a cast-off previously owned by Rodney Dangerfield. One of the main features of the video though, is the animation. It’s of a faux dog-based arcade game (the album this comes from was called Computer Games), drawn in a fuzzy almost felt-tip style. I’ve always felt it owed a little debt to the video for Genius of Love by the Tom Tom Club, perhaps I’m lead there by their own tribute to George during the song.
“I’m in heaven,
With the maven of funk mutation,
Clinton’s musicians such as Bootsy Collins,
Raise expectations to a new intention”