5 February 2017, No. 234, George Clinton, ‘Atomic Dog (Original Extended Version)’

Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg taught me this song twice before I knew who George Clinton was, so when I first heard “bow wow wow yippee yo yippee yay” coming off the Computer Games LP, I experienced one of those epiphanic little clicks that make collecting old records fun. No. 234, George Clinton’s “Atomic Dog (Original Extended Version),” as the title implies, is not the LP version I first heard. I’m not sure if it’s the same as the “Atomic Mix” on most of the twelves, but the timing is within five seconds or so, making it a safe enough bet they’re similar if not the same. What definitely is the same is the bassline from another joint in the George Clinton universe Dr. Dre used in two tracks that both lift vocals from No. 234.

The bassline in “____ Wit Dre Day (And Everybody’s Celebratin’)” and the bassline from Snoop’s “What’s My Name?” are slowed down versions of the bassline from a section of “(Not Just) Knee Deep” by Funkadelic. When I think of “(Not Just) Knee Deep,” I think only of the synth lead Maseo, Dave, and Prince Paul reused in De La Soul’s “Me, Myself, and I,” a song that makes no use of the bass part that must have fixed in Dre’s mind. Maybe now when I think of “(Not Just) Knee Deep” I’ll think of Dre’s g-funk bass interpolations too.

When the Dre and Snoop connections run out, stick with “Atomic Dog.” Bits and pieces of neutron dogs, funky dogs, and nasty dogs can be heard dancing far off into the outer reaches of the samplesphere, eluding dogcatchers starting in the ’80s and running right up through Lil Wayne.

Keep your ears up, and don’t bother chasing your tail.