And it can come from anywhere, anytime. I literally stumbled upon this 1 min 20-sec video of the one and only Bootsy Collins explaining the power of The One and it lit my whole morning up. I’m sure I’ll be buzzing the rest of the day just from this video.
The #1 rule of funk: Keep it on the One. Listen to Bootsy lay it down:
“It’s however you feel, you just gotta fit it in that little space that you’ve got…. Once you got it, you can do anything you want to do with it! Just keep it on THE ONE.”
Why am I so fired up about this? Because The One is both practical and mystical. It’s about freedom through the constraint of form, but it’s also about something bigger. Think the Magician, who occupies the position of One in the Tarot:
In the Magician’s right hand is a wand raised toward heaven, the sky or the element æther, while his left hand is pointing to the earth. This iconographic gesture has multiple meanings, but is endemic to the Mysteries and symbolizes divine immanence, the ability of the magician to bridge the gap between heaven and earth.
Or as James Brown lays it down:
“The ‘One’ is derived from the Earth itself, the soil, the pine trees of my youth. And most important, it’s on the upbeat—ONE two THREE four—not the downbeat, one TWO three FOUR, that most blues are written. Hey, I know what I’m talking about! I was born to the downbeat, and I can tell you without question there is no pride in it. The upbeat is rich, the downbeat is poor. Stepping up proud only happens on the aggressive ‘One,’ not the passive Two, and never on lowdown beat. In the end, it’s not about music—it’s about life.”
Bridging the gap between heaven and earth, tapping the Divine for inspiration.
You can bet, I’ll be keeping it on The One all day today.
Do you want to take a mystical journey today?
Wait till it’s dark, then find a quiet room. Put your headphones on, turn off the lights, and listen to the original version of Maggot Brain.