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Rick James
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Rick James

Rick James (born James Johnson, Jr. on February 1, 1948) is a U.S funk and soul recording and performing artist. He was most prolific during the late 1970's and early 1980's. He is a singer, keyboardist, bassist, producer, arranger, and composer. The song he is most famous for is his 1981 hit "Superfreak," which was later sampled by MC Hammer for his 1991 Grammy award-winning song "U Can't Touch This." His other hits include "You and I," "Give it to Me Baby," "Cold Blooded," and "17." He recorded primarily for Gordy and Motown Records.

A Behind the Music-style skit on the sketch comedy show Chappelle's Show looked back on interactions between Charlie Murphy and James in the 1980s. The skit depicted Rick James as an egotistical, misogynistic cocaine addict who constantly reminded people "I'm Rick James, bitch!" which has become something of a catch phrase. The skit starred Dave Chappelle as James and Charlie Murphy playing himself, with interspersed interview segments with James.

Scheduled for release in September/October 2004 is the DVD Rick James: Rockpalast Live, which features a 1982 concert performance from Essen, Germany.


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