*Rick James’ new documentary series entitled: “Bitchin: The Sound and Fury of Rick James” launched Tuesday night on June 15. The series aired at the TriBeCa Film Festival and was filled with many shocking details about the late musician’s life, reports theJasmineBrand.
James, formerly known as James Johnson Jr. was an iconic entertainer, musician, and superstar who acquired the bulk of his fame in the late 70s to mid 80s. Throughout his relatively short-lived career, he was fortunate to have many hits under his belt, including the well-known song “Super Freak,” before his untimely passing in 2004.
Though James had much success in his career, it was no secret that he had an ongoing battle with drug abuse. In the documentary, key details about how his addiction devoured his career and livelihood are revealed. One negligent incident in particular, that consisted of James vandalizing the desk of Jay Lasker, the president of Motown Records at the time. Specifically, according to the documentary, James jumped on top of the desk, took his genitals out of his pants, and shoved them into Lasker’s face while yelling: “Sell my g*dd*** record!”
Needless to say, that was the final straw.
After realizing that James may have been at the point of no return, Motown decided to put their energy behind another artist: Lionel Richie. The film also reveals the complicated friendship that James had with fellow late musician Prince. Music critic Steven Ivory said:
“Rick had a love-hate relationship with Prince. He loved him because he loved what Prince was about—he loved the swagger, he loved the music. He hated him because Prince gave him heat.”
All in all, the documentary unveils so much that we the public didn’t know and has sparked new insight into the life of someone we once musically glorified. For instance, even though Rick James had a reputation of being a sexual person his ex-wife, Tanya Hijazi, shared during the documentary that wasn’t necessarily true. She said,
“His sexual exploits were more ‘You do that to that person. Let me watch. I wanna orchestrate some sh*t over here.’ He wasn’t personally involved. He was not that kind of super freak. He didn’t let people touch him. He wasn’t, like, in the orgy — he would watch the orgy.”
James’ documentary can be streamed at selected times on TriBeCa’s website and will be available later this year on Showtime.