Down and Dirty
The music of quasi-legendary soul/funk/rap pioneer Blowfly is primarily about three things: fuckin', fuckin' and fuckin'. Often foul, always funny, singer-songwriter Clarence Reid has been rockin' the triple-X Blowfly persona for more than 30 years now. This alter ego requires a wardrobe full of dazzling, retina-searing cape-and-cowl outfits, a repertoire loaded with dirty ditties and a constantly evolving musical approach. Many quite rightly cite Blowfly as one of rap music's founding fathers. But it's unfair to assign his hard-core burlesque to a single style. He's put his bawdy brand on every conceivable contemporary genre, from rock 'n' roll to disco, R&B to funk, and, on his latest release, punk rock.
Blowfly's Punk Rock Party is a collection of new material and punk classics ("I Wanna Be Sedated," "Wild in the Streets," "Should I Stay or Should I Go?") given Blowfly's smutty spin ("I Wanna Be Fellated," "Wild in the Sheets," "Should I Fuck This Big Fat Ho?") and some substantial street cred as a product of Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles Records.
How did Blowfly's Punk Rock Party come about?
This punk rock stuff started because we were playing to punk rockers all over the country, and they were asking for it, in more ways than one! So we wrote some songs and asked Jello if he wanted to put out my Punk Rock Party, and he said, "OK, but only if you do 'Now I Wanna Fuck Your Dog!'" See! I'm the only normal one! It's freaks like him that done corrupted me!
After all these years has it gotten easier to work blue, or is it harder to get a reaction when there are relatively fewer taboos?
Drive through Oklahoma, look at the billboards and tell me there ain't people left worth messing with. The word of God is in the original Bible. Not on a fucking billboard. I get a reaction because I'm funny. Obviously the people who wrote the songs you parody had their own inspiration, but when you're parodying them, what's your inspiration? Other than vaginal intercourse.
What's wrong with being inspired by pussy? If your daddy wasn't inspired by pussy you wouldn't be here! Bankers, lawyers and all sorts of freaks have come up to me and told me the first time they got laid was because they were listening to my records with their girlfriends, and it corrupted them enough to get into their drawers. And they are grateful!
Of those artists who've sampled you, who do you think best represents your legacy?
I have a special place in my heart for the late Ol' Dirty Bastard. First off, he never tried to hide it, like some people, or collect music royalties by putting a drum machine underneath my grooves like Swizz Beats just did for DMX. Ol' Dirty Bastard came right out and said, "This is Blowfly" in the middle of a song...That's respect.
When is VH1 going to pull its head out of its ass and present you with one of their illustrious Hip Hop Honors?
Don't ask me—ask Ice-T! All I did was invent their music. I don't know anyone else who was rapping in the mid-'60s. But most hip-hoppers just can't take it that the guy who started their shit wears a mask and cape.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.