His biggest hit, of course, is the trashy song "Superfreak," which was accompanied by a lurid video shot on grainy film, depicting the cornrowed James lapping his tongue at a bunch of lip-glossed and leather-teddy wearing skanks in the back of a limo.
At the most successful point of his career, James became famous for lighting up giant joints onstage and singing love songs to marijuana plants. After a while, though, he discovered Prince, and became paranoid that the little funkateer would steal his spotlight. And, of course, he was right. After a paranoid attempt to trash the sex dwarf to anyone who'd listen, Rick James took a tumble.
He and his woman got all wacky on whatever drugs they could get their mitts on, and did their best to have sex with anything that had holes or protrusions. Meanwhile, James peroxided his locks, started wearing frilly shirts, and declared he had given his life to Christianity. Christian values notwithstanding, James and his lady eventually got so out of it that they kidnapped a woman, tied her up, forced her to smoke crack, and made her their sex slave.
Superfreaks indeed. Eventually, the woman got away and James and his partner got caught and thrown in the slammer.
After a lengthy jail term (and, seemingly, more than a few helpings of pie), a worn and pudgy Rick James returned to society, making the "Where Are They Now?" retro-kitsch circuit. He is seeing a kind of revival of late thanks to Dave Chappelle's hilarious imitation of him, and re-enactments of his crazy life on Dave's show co-starring Eddie Murphy's brother Charlie, who knows Rick pretty well.
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