Next stop: Funk. Season two focuses on funk music greats, including George Clinton, Rick James, James Brown and Bootsy Collins.
A cornerstone figure in funk music, George Clinton went from singing a capella in a barbershop to chasing Motown glory in Detroit with his band, The Parliaments. But it was the introduction of LSD that took him to the next level, as he built a funk empire and forged a lasting sound that went on to fuel a whole new genre--hip hop.
The self-proclaimed “King of Punk Funk,” Rick James came from humble beginnings in Buffalo before hooking up with Neil Young while dodging the draft in Canada. With a penchant for pyrotechnics, glitter, custom boots and marijuana, his quest to become a black rock star reached its apex when a throwaway song, “Super Freak,” topped the charts and gave him the fame he’d dreamed of.
In the mid-‘80s, funk star Rick James was riding high on top of the music world. But between his rivalry with Prince, crusade against MTV and run-ins with the law, he fell further under the influence of cocaine. Even a shot at a comeback, when M.C. Hammer sampled his greatest hit, couldn’t pull James back from the brink.
One of music's most notable bassists, Bootsy Collins went from rocking out in Ohio to working with the notorious James Brown, who taught him "The One" funk basics. But it was when Bootsy met George Clinton that he created his larger-than-life persona and became the backbone of the P-Funk empire.
James Brown, a.k.a. “Mr. Dynamite”, was renowned for his infectious voice and unbelievable dance moves. Between his womanizing ways, perfectionist attitude and daredevil style, he built an empire that went far beyond entertaining, often alienating musicians and business partners along the way.