“Bootsy” Collins Vs. Jean-Michele Basquiat
Robert Hughes Insightful commentary on Basquiat had me thinking a lot. I especially liked what he said, “For the very nature of Basquiat’s success forced him to repeat himself without a chance of development.”
And that rings true; Basquiat works’ are brilliant, although they never developed beyond a certain point. Which is not a bad thing, he was only 27 when he died. But it’s pretty much what he, Basquiat thought about Keith Herring’s work, It’s good but it’s more of a formula painting. I don’t agree, but I could see how he would’ve thought that.
Robert Hughes pointed out the work of the sculptor Martin Puryear, who is black. His work is GREAT! No doubt; but also note, nobody really knows who he is. He is not celebrated as a successful artist in Black art magazines or Black entertainment. I’m pleasantly surprised and please to hear Black celebrities talking about their Basquiat painting.
So what does a developed young black genius work looks like?
The irony is unless that artist is dead at a young age, or old, their efforts will be demeaned, I’m thinking about Lauryn Hill. Her legacy receives little if no respect. Especially compared to the celebration of her debut in the Fugees, as a young Ingénue, and her first solo album: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill.
Listening to “What’s Good” with Stretch and Bobbito, By far the best music, hip-hop, radio show. They were featuring the story of another young black genius, William Earl “Bootsy” Collins.
They talked about how he was playing as a nineteen-year-old for the great James Brown, the black musical Andy Warhol.
“Bootsy” Collins recounts his evolution of the amazingly popular four beat ‘on-the-one’ sounds, that the King James Brown love so much. That sound is akin to Abstract Expressionism in the art world. And is the foundation for almost all 80′ hip-hop. Just about everybody sample James Browns’ Funky Drummer.
When I heard the Beastie Boys’ MCA, the late great Adam Yauch, shout out “Max Roach!” with a hoarse voice on the wicked 12 inch “Drum Machine,” 1985 it was Basquiat’s Max Roach, 1984 that flashed in my mind.
“Bootsy” Collins, went on to collaborate with other great musical artists of his time: George Clinton, Parliament, Funkadelic; Talking Heads; Herbie Hancock; Deee-Lite on their massive hit “Groove Is in the Heart”; the GrooveGrass Boyz; Little Richard; Hank Williams, Jr.; and influenced many more young artist like Flea of the Chilli Peppers and Fatboy Slim.
GOOD LUCK NEXT BLACK GUY
Somehow Robert Hughes comments seemed appropriate. Basquiat didn’t have time to developed and grow into the genius of which he’s crown.
And that’s the sad part. Robert Hughes article points out how the white art world is manipulated by a minority whose main reason is to create wealth, guarding-off everyone who is a threat. And the only way in is to be part of the establishment. Good luck next black guy, or women. I’m not even going to get into the Black Women; thank you bell hooks for supporting them. Even though bell hooks get’s a lot of fuss for insinuating that the Great Beyoncé is not that great, she even called the pop singer a “terrorist.” “…That she is colluding in the construction of herself as a slave.” Beyoncé is today’s Queen Bee to Basquiat’s ‘Crown’. Long live the Queen!
MONGO SANTAMARIA TO OUATTARA WATTS
At the end of Stretch and Bobbito, they will play a couple of tunes for their quest to ponder. And they come up with some abstract random tunes, that show how much they love music and it’s many influences. They gave “Bootsy” Collins: Tom Tom Club – “Genius of Love,” cool enough, and then they played Mongo Santamaria – “Bacoso.” something that you will never associate with “Bootsy” Collins, yet has the same vibe. “Bootsy” Collins, received it in the same spirit like if it was his…” that just funk your soul up,” he said. “Bootsy” Collins goes on to explain how he changed-up ‘on-the-one’, how he’d evolved.
It made me wonder how much Basquiat’s work would have changed if he’d went to Africa and collaborated with artist like Ouattara Watts and really start to include his Haitian voodoo heritage into his art, we’ll be celebrating the Voodoo-child instead of the morning the enfant terrible.