Leroy "Sugarfoot" Bonner, 1943-2013


Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner died of cancer Saturday in Trotwood-Dayton, Ohio. Bonner was guitarist and lead singer of funk legends and hip-hop forefathers the Ohio Players. The synthesizer line from the Player’s 1972 hit “Funky Worm” became a bedrock foundation of gangsta rap when Dr. Dre sampled it for N.W.A’s “Dopeman” in 1988. Four years later, Dre replayed it for his own “Nuthin’ But a ‘G’ Thang,” and it has been used in about a million other songs since then. So much so that any high-pitched synth line used in rap production is commonly referred to as a “worm synth.” Bonner was 69.