Black Music Month: Rick James
Nobody rocked the the 70′s and 80′s like James Ambrose Johnson, Jr. aka Rick James. Singer, songwriter, producer and musician, Rick James is one of the innovators of funk music. With hits “Super Freak”, “Give It To Me Baby”, and “You and I”, Rick James crossed over into pop success selling over three million records. Plagued by drug abuse and legal issues, Rick James’ career took a detour in the 1980′s after he serving two years in Folsom Prisonfor assault. Rick James emerged back on the scene in a humorous appearance on an episode of Dave Chappelle’s Chappelle Show in the Charlie Murphy ”True Hollywood Stories” segment of the show. Rick James died in 2004 of pulmonary and cardiac failure. R&B classics “Mary Jane”, “Ebony Eyes” with Smokey Robinson, and “Fire and Desire” with Teena Marie are cult classics in the urban community. His music and legacy continue to inspire today’s music artists. Rick James was one of kind, unforgettable soul brother with incredible talent who will never be forgotten.
Rick James ft Smoky Robinson “Ebony Eyes”. Video Courtesy of YouTube