African American Psychedelic Rock: A Subgenre Worth Checking Out

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Looking for something new to listen to? Check out African American psychedelic rock, a subgenre that’s full of interesting and innovative sounds.

What is African American Psychedelic Rock?

African American psychedelic rock is a subgenre that is not often talked about. This type of music combines elements of rock, soul, and blues with psychedelic sounds. The result is a unique and interesting sound that is worth checking out. Keep reading to learn more about African American psychedelic rock.

A Brief History

Psychedelic rock, sometimes referred to as “acid rock”, is a style of rock music that was popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. That era saw a number of bands experimenting with LSD, mushrooms, and other mind-altering substances, and their music typically featured distorted guitars, bizarre lyrics, and extended improvisational passages.

The African American contribution to this style of music is often overlooked, but there were a number of important artists who helped pioneer the sound. George Clinton’s bands Funkadelic and Parliament were two of the most influential groups of the era, and their music was heavily influenced by psychedelic rock. Other important artists included Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, and Sly & the Family Stone.

African American psychedelic rock didn’t enjoy the same mainstream success as its white counterparts, but it was hugely influential in the development of funk and hip hop. If you’re a fan of either genre, then you owe it to yourself to check out some of the groundbreaking work that was done by these pioneering musicians.

Key Elements

African American psychedelic rock is a black subgenre of psychedelic rock that emerged in the late 1960s and early 1970s.The key elements of African American psychedelic rock include extended jamming, acid Rock vocals, funky bass lines, Politically conscious lyrics, and extensive use of the wah-wah pedal.

The genre is often seen as a fusion of black music genres such as Funk, soul, and R&B with Psychedelic Rock. The most notable bands associated with African American psychedelic rock are Parliament-Funkadelic, Sly & the Family Stone, and The Chambers Brothers.

Why is African American Psychedelic Rock Worth Checking Out?

Psychedelic rock is a subgenre of rock music that is inspired by or influenced by psychedelic culture. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, African American psychedelic rock bands began to emerge, and they blended elements of rock, soul, funk, and jazz. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, African American psychedelic rock is definitely worth checking out.

Unique Sound

Psychedelic rock is a style of rock music that was popular in the 1960s and early 1970s. It is characterized by distorted electric guitars, mind-altering lyrics, and trippy sound effects. African American psychedelic rock is a subgenre of psychedelic rock that includes bands and artists who are of African descent.

African American psychedelic rock bands were not as visible or as commercially successful as their white counterparts, but they made an important contribution to the development of the genre. These bands blended elements of soul, R&B, and funk with psychedelic rock to create a unique sound that was distinctly their own.

Notable African American psychedelic rock bands include Parliament-Funkadelic, Sly and the Family Stone, and The Chambers Brothers. If you’re looking for something new to listen to, check out these African American psychedelic rock bands – you won’t be disappointed!

Social and Political Relevance

Psychedelic rock music is often known for its mind-altering and sometimes hallucinogenic effects. The subgenre developed in the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Psychedelic rock’s black musicians were inspired by the revolutionary potential of the mind-altering drugs that were becoming popular at the time. They used music to explore new states of consciousness and to express their dissent against racism and other forms of oppression.

Black psychedelic rock bands were some of the most innovative and influential groups of their time. They helped to pioneer new sounds and musical techniques that would later be adopted by white artists. Unfortunately, they received very little recognition for their contributions during their lifetime. Their music was largely overshadowed by the more mainstream and commercially successful white psychedelic rock bands of the time.

In recent years, there has been a renewed interest in black psychedelic rock. Music critics and historians have begun to acknowledge the importance of these pioneering artists. Their music is now being rediscovered by a new generation of listeners.

If you’re interested in exploring this fascinating subgenre, here are some African American psychedelic rock bands that are worth checking out:

The Rotary Connection – The Rotary Connection was a Chicago-based band that was active from 1967 to 1971. The group was led by singer Minnie Riperton and featured several other talented musicians, including saxophonist Ramsey Lewis and guitarist Shuggie Otis. The Rotary Connection’s music blended elements of soul, gospel, jazz, and psychedelia. They released four albums during their brief career, all of which are now considered classics of the genre.

Syl Johnson – Syl Johnson is a legendary figure in the history of blues and soul music. He began his career in the 1950s as a member of The Impressions, one of the most successful R&B groups of all time. He went on to have a highly successful solo career in the 1960s and 1970s, during which he experimented with elements of psychedelia. His most famous song, “Different Strokes,” became a crossover hit in 1967 and has since been covered by numerous other artists.

Hugh Masekela – Hugh Masekela is a South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, bandleader, composer, singer, and civil rights activist who has been described as “the father of South African jazz.” He spent many years in exile during apartheid but continued to record and perform internationally throughout his career. His 1968 album The Americanization of Ooga Booga is considered an important early work of black psychedelia.

Cultural Significance

African American Psychedelic Rock, or “AAPR”, is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The style is characterized by its incorporation of elements of African American music, such as blues and soul, into a traditional rock format.

AAPR can be seen as an extension of the Black Power movement of the 1960s, which sought to promote black pride and cultural identity. In many ways, AAPR was a reaction against the white-dominated psychedelic rock scene of the time, which was often seen as appropriating African American music without giving credit or acknowledgement.

By reclaiming psychedelic rock as their own, African American musicians were able to create a unique and powerful musical style that spoke to their experiences and perspectives. AAPR has had a significant impact on subsequent generations of rock musicians, and its influence can still be heard in contemporary music.

African American Psychedelic Rock Artists to Check Out

If you’re looking for something new to listen to, African American psychedelic rock might be worth checking out. This subgenre combines aspects of psychedelic rock with soul, funk, and rhythm and blues. Some artists you might want to check out include Jimi Hendrix, George Clinton, and Funkadelic.

The Psychedelic Furs

The Psychedelic Furs are an English rock band founded in 1977. Initially associated with the punk rock scene, they later carved out a sound all their own, mixing elements of post-punk, new wave, and goth rock. ThePsychedelic Furs enjoyed moderate success in the United Kingdom and Australia in the 1980s, but their biggest commercial impact came with the release of their 1986 album “Love My Way.” The title track became a top ten hit in several countries, propelling the album to platinum status. The band continued to tour and release new music throughout the 1990s and 2000s. In recent years, they have been working on material for a new album.

The 13th Floor Elevators

The 13th Floor Elevators were an American psychedelic rock band from Austin, Texas, formed in late 1965, who were among the earliest pioneers of the genre. The band was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

The 13th Floor Elevators were founded by Roky Erickson, Tommy Hall, and Stacy Sutherland. The band’s name was inspired by their belief that elevators are evil; they took the name from a supposed haunted floor in a San Antonio hotel.

The band was influenced by British Invasion groups such as The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds, as well as by garage rock bands such as The Sonics and The Monks. They were also influenced by Bob Dylan’s recordings, particularly “Mr. Tambourine Man”.


Funkadelic was an American band most prominent in the 1970s and early 1980s, noted for their eclectic mix of R&B, soul, funk, and rock. The band received critical acclaim for their innovative fusion of these genres; however, they were also subject to criticism for their psychedelic and political lyrics. Despite this, the band was extremely popular, particularly with African American audiences.

The band was formed in 1968 in Detroit, Michigan by George Clinton and several other musicians. Their first album, “Funkadelic,” was released in 1970 to critical acclaim. The group’s popularity increased throughout the 1970s with the release of several more albums, including “Cosmic Slop,” “Standing on the Verge of Getting It On,” and “One Nation Under a Groove.” In the 1980s, the group’s popularity began to decline, and they disbanded in 1983.

Despite their relatively short time together, Funkadelic is considered one of the most influential bands of their era. Their innovative fusion of soul, funk, and rock helped to shape the sound of popular music in the 1970s and influenced many subsequent artists. If you’re a fan of psychedelic rock or African American music history, then Funkadelic is definitely a band worth checking out!

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