Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Requiem For A Superfreak

Robert Levine of Blender's December 2004 issue has the final word on Rick James. He writes a bittersweet piece, at turns funny, and, other times, as sad as the man was himself:

"In November 1998 James suffered a stroke onstage in Denver as he was singing "Fire and Desire." At first he didn't know what happened, and he finished the song before going to the hospital. In Los Angeles, checked into Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, he recuperated in typical style, ordering in lobster tails and having them brought to his bedside. When (Rick James collaborator Danny LeMelle) came to visit him, he confided that he didn't believe it would keep him away from cocaine for long. James just looked away.

"LeMelle was right, of course. James went right back to his old habits. The longest period he ever remembers James staying off cocaine was three weeks. The stroke had left James with a slight limp, but he just turned it into a part of his pimp strut."

Hmm. The Candyman can only take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew. But can James turn a "stroke limp" into a "pimp strut" -- that's Old School alchemy right there. Fucking Harry Houdini of the ghetto, that's Rick James, bitch!

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