Bootsy Collins doesn’t think black people have “been allowed to advance that much” over the years.
Speaking in a new interview, Collins, who rose to prominence with James Brown in the 1970s before later joining Parliament-Funkadelic, discussed how far the black community have come in light of recent events following the death of George Floyd last month.
“A lot has changed over the years,” he told The Guardian. “We [black people] have been allowed to gain more, maybe, in terms of money – but the wider mindset is the same. As far as who we are as people and a race and what we got to give, we haven’t been allowed to advance that much.”
He added: “People are so status-obsessed and they just don’t realise that we are all the same, that this whole Earth is our mothership and we’re all on board.”
Also commenting on police brutality and the availability of images and videos depicting such acts, Collins said: “Now, everybody sees when these incidents happen. There’s no secret, it’s recorded, it’s straight out into the world. We’ve been through enough and we need to come together. I know it has been said for ever, but it feels like time really is running out now.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Collins discussed finalising his 10th solo album, ‘The Power Of The One’.
Its lead single, ‘Stars’, features a sample of Dr. Cornel West talking powerfully on CNN, in the wake of Floyd’s killing, about the ways the US has failed its black citizens.
“It’s been a strange time; really good for music, but bad in many other ways,” Collins said. “COVID gave me some time to reset. I decided to put something out that was uplifting and that would hopefully help heal the planet.
“Funk just brings people together, from the ground up. It doesn’t have nothing to do with colour. It has nothing to do with status. It just brings you to ‘the one’, and the one thing that we all have in common is that we all just want to live. That’s what it’s really all about. It’s making something from nothing, like me.”