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P*Funk Review – Rick James

P*Funk Review – Rick James


Rick James, Buffalo, Folsom Prison, Crack Cocaine, Arrested, Convicted, Mary Jane, Biography


I, too, am very sorry to hear this news :(… When I opened up my email earlier this afternoon and saw mention of Rick James’ death, here on the SP, I said, to myself, "…WHAT?!" Maybe, I shouldn’t have been surprised, considering the legal/health problems that the brother had in his later years, as well as the overall shenanigans that he (apparently) perpetrated, on his own. When I saw Rick James, in photos, on TV, etc., over the last few years, I always thought that he did NOT look well, or even "on the mend". And, yeah… These days, I DO hear about death and/or some other kind of tragedy/malaise, practically every day. But, still… I am particularly saddened to hear/read that Rick has died.

Regardless of his personal trials/tribulations/demons, *I* simply prefer to remember Rick James for his talent, as the brotha put it DOWN, during the late ’70’s-mid-’80’s (and, before I eventually learned about what went on behind the scenes, behind the music, e.g., all of that drug use and stuff…). I, as well as (probably) thousands (or millions) of other FUNK fans, partied HARD to the tune(s) of Rick James. Some of y’all might favor that period when he collaborated with Teena Marie, e.g., "Fire and Desire". Well, MY fondest period for Rick James’ music was early on, with the Mary Jane Girls, as well as those tunes where the Temptations appeared, e.g., "You and I", "Mary Jane", "Standing On the Top", "Super Freak", and so forth… And, remember "Boys (I Like the Boys)", by the Mary Jane Girls? Well, while I was still actively clubbin’, THAT was one of my jams….LOL!!!

At any rate… Gary, I, too, hope that bit from Dave Chappelle’s show on Comedy Central (which has, by the way, taken on a life of its own, in terms of popularity) will be tucked away in the vaults, somewhere, out of respect to this man’s memory, at least for a little while….

It would be sad, indeed, if Rick James is memorialized/remembered, at this point, in terms of a comedy skit that (apparently) was funny at the time when he was alive (and, as I understand, he went along with it…), as well as JUST for those "troubles" that became public, in his last years of life. IMHO, at the height of his career, and in his prime, Rick James was NO JOKE, in terms of his sheer musical talent.

This brotha put a significant flavor of FUNK on the music map for all of us FUNKATEERS who STILL "flew that flag", on into the 1980’s (and, even, NOW, in the 21st century)… Plus, ‘ole boy could play some guitar, too :)…

May Rick James, indeed, rest in peace… To me, and as the years went by, he always seemed to be REAL full of troubles – personal and otherwise. And, often, Rick’s public statements were quite mean-spirited. Still,,, I hope that, when it’s all said and done, the man’s talent is properly honored. Again… That man was NO JOKE…


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