After the release of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' previous album, Freaky Styley, frontman Anthony Kiedis admitted himself into rehab for a heroin addiction that nearly got him kicked out the band. He was 50 days sober when he starting dabbling in drugs again during the early stages of The Uplift Mofo Party Plan sessions. As the rest of the band worked hard to get the album together, Kiedis went off to get high.
He recalled in his autobiography, Scar Tissue: "I went downtown and found an El Salvadoran who hooked me up, and I was in that opiate haze one more time. But all I could think about was the fact that I was supposed to be in the studio. I started hearing [drummer] Jack Irons' beat in my head for a song we were working on called the 'Organic Beat-Box Band.' I sat in a downtown park, surrounded by an odd mixture of park people, and wrote the lyrics. I felt excruciating pain and guilt and shame behind not being there for the beginning of the record, but I thought if I showed up with something good to offer, the heat would diminish. And it did."
The lyrics follow the rise of The Fax City Four, RHCP's fictional alter egos, Hollywood funk masters who stand out among tech-obsessed beat-boxers with manufactured jams. While promoting the album, Chili Peppers bassist Flea spoke about the role of technology in modern funk music. "It's just too clean," he said. "Funk should be dirty music; it's not pristine, it's gotta have that dirty grungy feel. Every time I play a gig they play this song called 'Pump Up The Volume.' That's not funk, man, that's a bunch of sequencers jacking off for androids - it's not for people who like to shake their ass and get down."
To give the song a party vibe, the band threw an actual party during the recording session, inviting Fishbone's Angelo Moore and John Norwood Fisher, producer Michael Beinhorn, their girlfriends, and several others as guests.