August 6, 2004: Rick James has passed away

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Rick James died on the morning of August 6, 2004, apparently of natural causes. We have no further information at this time.

Never an innovator, borrowing heavily from P-Funk and later Prince, but in his prime Rick James came up with some excellent funky tunes, several of which hit the charts again after being sampled by hip hop artists. James grew up in Buffalo, and after a brief 1960's stint in a Byrds clone, the Mynah Birds, with Neil Young, he resurfaced in the late 70's as a funkateer. During his peak years he also produced big hits for other artists, including Eddie Murphy, Teena Marie, and his creation, the Mary Jane Girls. He didn't last at the top too long, and since he's not particularly gifted as a singer or instrumentalist, and didn't have an individual production style, that's not too surprising. Personally James was thoroughly reprehensible, making Ike Turner look like a great humanitarian, and it's hard to laugh off the relentless sexist and pedophilic imagery in his music after his prison term for abduction and sexual assault (which he tried to blame on his girlfriend). After getting out, he denied most of the charges and blamed the rest on his cocaine abuse. But whatever you think of him, the grooves still hold up.


I've always enjoyed his music, it's sad to see him go. May he rest in peace...
 
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"Cocaine's a hell of a drug, hehehehe."

I didn't know much about him, but it's sad to see any life end.
 
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Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo! Sad to see him go. "**** yo couch!"
 
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im sure he's in heaven *****slapping some ***** as we speak (/tear)
 

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