‘Atomic Dog,’ One of Hip-Hop’s Most Sampled Songs, Was Recorded By Mistake

In the new season of ‘Tales from the Tour Bus,’ the music documentary program from animation veteran Mike Judge, Parliament/Funkadelic virtuoso George Clinton told the story behind “Atomic Dog,” one of hip-hop’s most sampled songs.

As it turns out, one of funk’s most enduring hits was the result of a simple mistake. As Judge relates in his narration, the sound engineer was actually just rewinding the tape while the singer was in the booth.  

“I’m trying to play it off like I knew what the fuck was happening,” said Clinton. “So I start talking…Instead of them telling me the track was backwards, they left it like that.”

That strange misunderstanding in the booth led to a song that is now considered elemental to the 90’s “gangsta rap” revolution, and, arguably, Snoop Dogg’s entire creative persona(he’s sampled the song on four separate tracks, and that’s not including the time he rapped over it on Dr. Dre’s ‘The Chronic’), proving once again that funk—that ineffable essence, is more art than science.

Watch the full clip below.

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