Rick James? Aw, man! The guy was a super freak. He invented punk-funk. What a dude! He was badass. Yet history kinda let this pioneer of brittle, bruising good-time groove slip from its memory. Look here, he even had a huge influence over Prince — so Rick James said, anyway. Because while his life may have been troublesome, even horribly brutal at times, musically he was great, OK?
African American musician James Ambrose Johnson, better known as Rick James, was a popular performer in the late s. James started singing on the street corners of his home town Buffalo at a young age. James battled drugs in the late s and served time for sexual assault. Musician and singer James Ambrose Johnson, Jr.
The book, written with David Ritz, was finished posthumously James died of a heart attack in , at age 56 and is out this week, alongside a digital box set of his Complete Motown Albums. James became one of the leading lights of funk in the late Seventies and early Eighties, but across the years, the singer was equally obsessed with sex and drugs. He also became friendly with Joni Mitchell they would stay up all night listening to jazz , and she recommended Neil Young, who joined James in a band called the Mynah Birds.