In conjunction with the release of Funkadelic, Westbound Records circulated a promotional single called "Focus on Funkadelic" to radio stations. The single features six snippets of tracks from the LP.
According to Robert Christgau, Funkadelic's "dark, slow, tuneless" music was originally panned and "scared the bejesus out of fans of upful blackness on both sides of America's widening racial divide". Writing in Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), Christgau jokingly referred to Clinton as "someone from Carolina who encountered eternity on LSD and vowed to contain it in a groove"; in reference to "Mommy, What's a Funkadelic?" and "What Is Soul", he wrote "you get high marks for your questions, guys." Years later, Christgau rated the record more favorably in Blender, regarding the album as "a prequel to Sly and the Family Stone's depressive There's a Riot Goin' On".Mojo later hailed Funkadelic as "the best blues-influenced, warped acid rock you're likely to hear", and The Mojo Collection (2007) called it the band's first album of "spaced-out psychedelic funk".AllMusic's Jason Birchmeier said the recordings are "essentially conventional soul songs in the spirit of Motown or Stax -- steady rhythms, dense arrangements, choruses of vocals -- but with a loud, overdriven, fuzzy guitar lurking high in the mix". He deemed the album "a revealing and unique record that's certainly not short on significance, clearly marking the crossroads between '60s soul and '70s funk".
"I'll Bet You" was later covered by The Jackson 5 on their album ABC, and sampled by the Beastie Boys for their song "Car Thief". The 2005 CD reissue also contains their version of "Can't Shake It Loose", which was recorded two years prior by Diana Ross & The Supremes on their album Love Child. In more recent years, The Red Hot Chili Peppers have combined the main riff of "Mommy, What's a Funkadelic?" and certain parts of the lyrics from "What Is Soul?" in live shows, a version which appears as a B-Side on their 2002 single "By the Way".