Later funk is truly terrifying

The perfect soundtrack for horror. Working on this over the summer, I listened to Cosmic Slop so intensively I nearly induced a psychotic break. Much like what happened to Sly Stone, who degenerated into incomprehensible rambles and repetitive loops as the junkie brain took over.

In the 70s, they opened a methadone clinic* two blocks from my grandma's house. She'd pass through lines of junkies on her way to church. The clinic was a block away from the heroin lot. I'd be sitting by the window, waiting for my father to come home, and suddenly, hundreds of people would come out of the alleys, silent and quick, like in "The Birds." Also waiting.

Most members of my family claim to see spirits; I have one sister who was subjected to private audiences with the devil in her bedroom late at night. My younger sister and I have both had dreams of infinitely evil creatures who perched on our beds to suck the life out of us. We would wake up gasping for breath. At these times, one wonders, what is real?

Bernie Worrell says of "Cosmic Slop," which he co-wrote: "The melody is like a spiritual hymn. If you take away the words and just hum it, it sounds like down on the plantation. I get chills still when I hear it."

He's right. The voices haunt you for a long time after.