Funk legend Bootsy Collins has announced a new album World Wide Funk, due out Oct 27th.
Marking the bassist’s first album since 2011’s Tha Funk Capital of the World, the upcoming World Wide Funk is populated with musical friends old and new, and recorded in his Cincinnati home’s Bootzilla Re-hab studio. Blue-chip rappers like Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Quik, Dru Down, and Chuck D, along with guitar shredder Buckethead, all join a Bootsy-curated posse of fresh new artists on a record that embraces everything from the classic P-Funk sound Bootsy pioneered to the closest Collins has ever come to radio-active, boots on the ground, friendly fire in a musical-P-rated-adventure.
From the maximalist funk of the body-slamming title track, to the soulful pop-R&B of “Heaven Yes,” to the experimental “groovegrass” of “Boomerang” (featuring Nashville slide-guitar hero Justin Johnson), to when “mix master Chew Fu showed up and showed out with his DJ skills on “Candy Coated Lover,” World Wide Funk is the latest chapter in Bootsy’s life-long dedication to “the One.” The ineffable thing that makes the funk funky emerged from the primordial ooze during teenaged William”Bootsy” Collins’ watershed year with James Brown (1970-71). Bootsy subsequently took the One to George Clinton‘s P-Funk crew – in what Brown biographer RJ Smith has called “one of history’s biggest cases of industrial espionage” – where he adapted Brown’s precision and rigor to ringleader Clinton’s ecstatic, chaotic, and prolific musical playpen.
The Collins mythology created in the late-‘70s undergoes further development on World Wide Funk, on tracks like “Bass-Rigged System” (with guest appearances by fellow bass legends Victor Wooten, Stanley Clarke and Manou Gallo), ”Pusherman” (wherein the BlvckSeeds collective offers a feminist take on the theory of evolution), and “Come Back Bootsy,” an epic funk extravaganza anchored once again by Bootsy’s star-shaped Space Bass. Funk wasn’t always all about the bass, but Bootsy helped make it so. He’s noted for rocking his custom-made star-shaped Space Bass like a lead guitar, both in the funk zone and alongside experimental producers like Bill Laswell. There’s no lack of fiery instrumental magic on World Wide Funk either, not with shredding virtuosos like Eric Gales, the mysterious Buckethead and Joe Mass onboard. “You can also hear Jabo and the late Clyde Stubblefield on the album as vocal guests,” Bootsy explains, “and former Prince drummer John Blackwell, along with Dennis Chambers, who left road kill up and down our mile long driveway.”
Along with X-Zact and BlvckSeeds, who supply gorgeous harmonies throughout World Wide Funk, other fresh faces on this casually collaborative effort include bassist-co-producer Alissia Benveniste and Cincinnati singer Tyshawn Colquitt, who sings his heart out on the soulful “Snow Bunny.” Bootsy discovered Benveniste, a Berklee School of Music graduate who leads a 15-piece band called the Funketeers, online. Kali Uchis is another fresh singer on tap that will “quench your thirst for the funk.” Other World Wide Funk guests include rappers Dru Down (“Pusherman”), DJ-Quik, MC Eiht (“Ladies Night”), and X-Zact (“Candy Coated Lover”), along with singers Musiq Soulchild and October London, who adds feminine appeal alongside a shoe-infatuated Bootsy on “Hi-On-Heels,” a slow-groove collaboration with Snoop Dogg. On the sexually gastronomic “Hot Saucer,” Musiq Soulchild announces his intention to “put it on your body like cheese on grits,” with Big Daddy Kane adding, “I ain’t dinin’ you, I’m brinin’ you!”
On “Hey Bernie,” Bootsy salutes P-funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell, who “changed frequencies” in 2016. The gorgeously elegiac track consists of stunning keyboard tracks Worrell recorded in the early 2000s accompanied by his “brother nature” Bootsy’s plaintive refrain: “Hey Bernie, please don’t go/ Hey Bernie, we need ya on the show.” With Worrell’s vintage Moogs and the analog keyboards he used on the road still set up in Collins’ studio, where they’d long resided, Bootsy had plenty of tracks to choose. “Man, I couldn’t finish this record without having something that not only Bernie played but something Bernie played just by himself,” he says. “The track I picked felt like Bernie speaking, which was his favorite way of communicating. I felt Bernie’s presence.”
World Wide Funk also entails a call to activism – literally “Bootz on the ground, baby!” as the title track puts it. “The whole concept,” Collins explains, “was not only about playing music or being current on this album, but about teaching people how to funk for themselves so they can bring some funk to get some. We bring them hope like dope, so not one Funkateer chokes.” A longtime activist himself, Collins has long given back to his community through The Bootsy Collins Foundation. The 501(c)(3) nonprofit is overseen by Patti Collins, Bootsy’s wife, and it focuses on raising the self-esteem of bullied girls, preventive dental care for underserved communities, and providing musical instruments to disadvantaged kids.
“I’ve never really been concerned about what others thought about me or my music, as long as it made you feel good & sexy, like them old house parties, sharing a coke and a smile while doing a bump and grind,” Bootsy concludes. Bootsy’s music and life are all about creating unity in the community, “but not necessarily the same old community.” He has never stopped generating new energy among new musical associates, and World Wide Funk is the latest example of his Promethean powers. It blends classic Bootsy, Analog (“aka the veteran artist”), and Slingshots (“aka the youngins”) into the silly serious world of Bootsy, with results that will extend far beyond the confines of our galaxy.
Check out the first taste of Bootsy’s 2017 release, “Worth My While” featuring Kalu Uchis below:
World Wide Funk Tracklist: 1. World Wide Funk (feat. Doug E. Fresh, Buckethead & Alissia Benveniste) 2. Bass-Rigged-System (feat. Victor Wooten, Stanley Clarke, Manou Gallo, Alissia Benveniste & World-Wide-Funkdrive) 3. Pusherman (feat. Dru Down, BlvckSeeds , Mr. Talkbox) 4. Thera-P (feat. Tyshawn Colquitt & Alissia Benveniste) 5. Hot Saucer (feat. Musiq Soulchild & Big Daddy Kane) 6. Heaven Yes 7. Ladies Nite (feat. MC Eiht & BlvckSeeds) 8. Candy Coated Lover (feat. X-Zact, Kali Uchis & World-Wide-Funkdrive) 9. Snow Bunny (feat. Tyshawn Colquitt, Snowbunny & World-Wide-Funkdrive) 10. Hi-On-Heels (feat. October London) 11. A Salute To Bernie (feat. Dr. G. Bernie Worrell) 12. Boomerang (feat. Justin Johnson) 13. Worth My While (feat. Kali Uchis) 14. Come Back Bootsy (feat. Eric Gales, Dennis Chambers & World-Wide-Funkdrive) 15. Illusions (feat. Chuck D, Buckethead & BlvckSeeds)