To fans of sassy and savvy urban music, the name Rick James will forever be associated with the mainstream emergence of funk—that bottom-heavy blend of rock and soul that sparked a multi-racial musical revolution in the 1970s and 1980s and has since influenced everything from rap to raves, punk to progressive rock. Along with the fame, the Grammy Award, and superstardom came drug abuse and even felony convictions, all of which are chronicled in this gripping, posthumous tell-all of the funk revolution.
Rick James first signed with Motown Records with a band called the Mynah Birds where he played alongside Neil Young. Years later, he signed with Motown as a solo artist and released his debut album, Come Get It!, in 1978. As a producer and writer, he lent his talents to established acts like the Temptations, up-and-comers like Teena Marie and the Mary Jane Girls, and amateurs like comedian Eddie Murphy. He died in 2004.