New Rick James CD and Book due in May

The Super Freak returns: new Rick James CD

& tell-all book due in May

Deeper Still was the album the King of Funk finished prior to his death

Wrote Memoirs Of A Super Freak autobiography while in prison

The Super Freak returns: new Rick James CD

& tell-all book due in May

Deeper Still was the album the King of Funk finished prior to his death

Wrote Memoirs Of A Super Freak autobiography while in prison

Just when you thought the dance floors were safe comes a tidal wave of funk from the super freak himself: Rick James.  The King of Funk had just finished recording Deeper Still at the time of his passing.  The album will finally be released May 15th on his Stone City Records label.  James produced the disc and wrote or co-wrote ten new songs, including the title track, which is already top 20 at Urban Adult Contemporary radio.   The month of Mayhem begins with the May 1st release of the original bad boy's autobiography, Memoirs Of A Super Freak, a revealing, raw, salacious and brutally candid no-holds-barred autobiography penned while James was incarcerated in 1993-1995 in California's Folsom State Prison.           

Having miraculously survived numerous trips to hell and back that were infamous for excessive drug use and addiction, an insatiable sexual appetite and kinky escapades, and violence that was part of his self-described "sex, drugs and funk & soul" lifestyle, James had cleaned up his life and was intent on refocusing his legacy on his remarkable musical talents and accomplishments.  Recording Deeper Still in 2003-2004 in his Los Angeles home studio, those in his inner circle state that James was determined to bring his music back to the mainstream and enjoy the pinnacle of success once again.  He envisioned Deeper Still as a double album consisting of twenty new songs, but it had to be pared down to a single-disc comprised of eleven tracks.  The Grammy winner's distinctive voice sounds as rich and robust as ever on the record. 

Opening the collection with the title track, the bottom-heavy, Latin-tinged shuffling beat underscores the change in perspective for the notorious playboy: it's a love song that offers gratitude and pledges a faithful commitment.  While known for creating a unique brand of funk, at his core James was a true singer-songwriter capable of creating and delivering songs of musical substance and depth.  He elected to breakout of the mold he was locked in by covering a song by famed singer-songwriter David Crosby.  James' version of "Guinnevere" is as ethereal as the original yet far more soulful.  The pained "Stop It" is a plea for love from an indifferent partner.  The autobiographical "Taste" chronicles James' life, his mistaken search for love and understanding, and concludes optimistically with a bit of self-realization.  While "Stroke" is a potent groove, again James openly divulges his tale of where he's been and what he's been through, but emerges as a survivor intent on returning to the top.  An R&B slow jam, "Do You Wanna Play" is an unadulterated invitation to carnal pleasures.  "Not Alone" fondly recalls a romantic relationship while traveling upon a funky, horn-powered excursion.  While the track is a sensual mid-tempo groove, "Sapphire" is a song of empowerment praising strong black women.  In the singer-songwriter vein, an acoustic guitar leads "Maybe" along a journey through romantic pain and heartache.  Mixing an inventive Latin and African rhythm, "Secrets" is another intimate cry for love in the context of a difficult relationship.  Closing in his trademark freaky style, "Funk Wit Me" has a slinky, sexy vibe.                                     

Colossus Books, an imprint of the Amber Communications Group, will publish Memoirs Of A Super Freak.  The film rights to the book have already been sold and writer Sheldon Turner ("The Longest Yard") is currently developing a script for the bio pic.    

Born in Buffalo, New York, James ran away to join the Navy Reserves at age 15, but later fled to Canada to avoid the Navy.  He began his career in the late 1960s by forming several bands, including teaming with musicians who would later form Buffalo Springfield (Neil Young amongst them).  He played bass in a band called the Mynah Birds that was signed to Motown Records yet they never released a record.  James enjoyed blending rock and funk and labeled his music "punk funk."  In 1978, Berry Gordy signed James to Motown as a solo artist and released his debut album, Come Get It, which spawned the hits "You and I" and "Mary Jane."  Perhaps his definitive album, Street Songs, was his fifth release.  In addition to receiving multiple Grammy nominations, the album scored two #1 hits - "Give It To Me Baby" and "Super Freak."  James discovered and nurtured artists such as Mary Jane Girls, Teena Marie and Eddie Murphy, and dueted with Marie and Smokey Robinson.  Despite his pioneering success as an artist, James became better known for his overt use of sexuality, recreational drug use, and extravagant lifestyle.  After parting with Motown, James inked with Reprise Records and topped the soul chart again with "Loosey's Rap," a collaboration with rapper Roxanne Shante.  In subsequent years, rappers began sampling James' library extensively to mine new hits, none bigger than MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This," based on "Super Freak."  After drug and legal problems kept James in court and in jail the first half of the 1990s, he reemerged in 1997 with Urban Rapsody, with a litany of guest stars that was well-received critically.  Unfortunately around the time comedian Dave Chappelle ushered James back to the forefront of popular culture in 2004 on The Chappelle Show, James died of a heart-attack.  Additional information is available at www.rickjames.com

Deeper Still contains the following songs:

"Deeper Still"                            "Not Alone"

"Guinnevere"                            "Sapphire"

"Stop It"                                   "Maybe"

"Taste"                                     "Secrets"

"Stroke"                                   "Funk Wit Me"

"Do You Wanna Play"

 
Song of the Month - Kea Michaels - "Not My Friend"
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