Bootsy Collins Announces First New Album in Six Years, 'World Wide Funk'

David Carlo
Bootsy Collins

Whether times are good or times are bad, the funk remains within you. And today, one of the most influential pioneers of the groove, Bootsy Collins, announced his return to shaking up the Hollywood Squares with his first new album in six years, World Wide Funk, due out Oct. 27 via Mascot Records.

Busting out his rolodex, Bootzilla brought along a crew full of guests for the 15-song LP from across the spectrum, from jazz-funk greats like Victor Wooten and Stanley Clarke -- both fellow bassists with their own places in history secured -- to old school MCs Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, Chuck D and MC Eiht to the eclectic mix of Buckethead, Musiq Soulchild and Kali Uchis, the latter of whom guests on the album's first single, "Worth My While."

"The whole concept 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," Bootsy explained about the first single in a press release accompanying the announcement. "We bring them hope like dope, so not one Funkateer chokes.”

Collins, for the uninitiated, is an icon in the funk world, recognizable by his extraterrestrial bass wobbles and magnified by his star-studded sunglasses, with a career that began in the clubs of his native Cincinnati and included stints in the legendary James Brown band as a teenager before cementing his legacy as a driving force in George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic in the 1970s. Alongside Clinton and keyboard wizard Bernie Worrell, Collins was one of the main songwriters and charismatic stars of the group, particularly the party-funk side of Parliament, where he was heavily involved in iconic albums like 1975's Mothership Connection and 1976's The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein

He and Worrell in particular worked so well together as to be almost seamless groove machines, operating in tandem to keep things loose and funky while never losing the beat. And on World Wide Funk Collins pays tribute to Worrell, who died last June after a long battle with cancer, on the song "A Salute to Bernie," which is built upon previously-unreleased keyboard tracks Worrell recorded in the 2000s.

"Man, I couldn't finish this record without having something that not only Bernie played, but something Bernie played just by himself," Collins said about the song. "The track I picked felt like Bernie speaking, which was his favorite way of communicating. I felt Bernie’s presence."

Of the album overall, Bootsy described it with his typical cosmic outlook: "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."

Check out World Wide Funk's first single "Worth My While" and the full track list below.

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)