EXCLUSIVE: Rick James Movie On The Way
theJasmineBRAND exclusively reports, Rick James is officially getting the Hollywood treatment. Sources tell us that a movie about the legendary singer, who passed at the age of 56, is in the works. We’re told that the movie is currently in pre-production.
Rick James was an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, James began his musical career in his teen years. He was in a number of various bands and groups before entering the U.S. Navy to avoid being drafted in the early 1960s. In 1965, James deserted to Toronto, Canada, where he formed the rock band the Mynah Birds, who eventually signed a recording deal with Motown Records in 1966. James’s career with the group halted after military authorities discovered his whereabouts and eventually convicted James on a one-year prison term related to the draft charges. After being released, James moved to California where he started a variety of rock and funk groups in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
After forming the Stone City Band in his hometown of Buffalo in 1977, James finally found success as a recording artist after signing with Motown’s Gordy Records, releasing the album, Come Get It!, in April 1978. It’s from this album where the hits “You & I” and “Mary Jane”, were released, helping the album go platinum and selling over two million records. This was followed with three more successful album releases.
James released his most successful album, Street Songs, in 1981, which included career-defining hits such as “Give It to Me Baby” and “Super Freak”, the latter song becoming his biggest crossover single, mixing elements of funk, disco, rock and new wave. James was also known for his soulful ballads such as “Fire & Desire” and “Ebony Eyes”. In addition, James also had a successful career as a songwriter and producer for other artists including Teena Marie, the Mary Jane Girls, the Temptations, Eddie Murphy and Smokey Robinson.
James’s mainstream success had peaked by the release of his album Glow in 1985 and his appearance on the popular TV show, The A-Team. James’s subsequent releases failed to sell as well as their predecessors. Rapper MC Hammer sampled James’s “Super Freak” for his 1990 hit, “U Can’t Touch This”, and James became the 1991 recipient of a Best R&B Song Grammy for composing the song. James’s career was hampered by his drug addiction by the early 1990s. In 1993, James was convicted for two separate instances of kidnapping and torturing two different women while under the influence of crack cocaine, resulting in a three-year sentence at Folsom State Prison. James was released on parole in 1996 and released the album, Urban Rapsody, in 1997. James’s health problems halted his career again after a mild stroke during a concert in 1998 and he announced a semi-retirement.
In 2004, James’s career returned to the mainstream after he appeared in an episode of Chappelle’s Show, in a Charlie Murphy True Hollywood Stories-style segment that satirized James’s wild lifestyle, resulting in renewed interest in James’s music and that year he returned to perform on the road. James died later that year from heart failure at age 56.
No further details about the project have been released.