Bootsy Collins

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About Bootsy Collins

Parliament-Funkadelic founder George Clinton remembers the first time he saw the cover for Bootsy Collins’ Stretchin’ Out in Bootsy's Rubber Band. The white suit, the star-shaped glasses, the mix of blaxploitation star and psychedelic kids’ cartoon: Bootsy had a look. That’s the link, Clinton thought: someone who could take the freedom and density of funk and make it pop. Not only did Collins (born William Earl Collins in Cincinnati in 1951) help shape the rhythmic spine of both Parliament-Funkadelic and James Brown’s band as a bass player, he expanded the parameters of Black music in ways that laid ground for everything from LA G-funk to Detroit techno and house. (And, as he noted, helped make it okay for Black people to wear bright colors at a time when it was still considered weird.) The P-Funk material is impeccable (“Give Up the Funk [Tear the Roof Off the Sucker],” the delirious post-doo-wop of “Be My Beach,” and hey, did you know he played drums on “Flash Light”?!), and the solo and Rubber Band work is great too (“Psychoticbumpschool,” “Vanish in Our Sleep”). But like George Clinton realized in 1976, Collins is also one of those rare artists whose look, sound, and aura helped crystallize an entire culture: the funk incarnate. “Funk has always been making something out of nothing,” Bootsy tells Apple Music. “That's what funk is. That's what we do as athletes. That's what we do as entertainers, musicians—we take what we got and learn to get forward with it. And that's what funk is.” In 2022, he began hosting The Bootsy Collins Show on Apple Music Hits.

Cincinnati, OH, United States
October 26, 1951
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