Saturday, August 07, 2004

Rick James MP3 Tribute Mix

Hanging out on corners
Singin' with the fellas
Lookin' for the cute chicks
Trying to find a bit of fun
Looking for some trouble
Or anyone who'll give me some

-- Ghetto Life

First Rick James album I listened to was also my first real funk album -- Street Songs, 1982, and like any good music, I didn't come looking for it... actually I came looking for something else. I first saw Street Songs on a upended crate in the dorm room of the wildest girl on campus. She had a mound of pot piled on top of the album cover, the black lights and tie-died sheets hanging everywhere. And there on the cover was a black guy like I had never seen - big red boots, long hair and that look all of a sudden defined cool in 1982... Here was a funkster and a rocker and a showman and yet still an outlaw. Few artists were out there unabashedly singing about drugs that I remember. And here he's got The Mary Jane girls and singing "Pass the Joint..." Just Say No would come soon thereafter.

"Give It To Me Baby" - talk about a song that would never quit and you never got tired of it even if it lodged inside your brain (we can thank MC Hammer for killing "Superfreak", alas). Yeah, we'd skip over the slow songs or just roll our eyes because we were too blasted to get up. But "Ghetto Life", "Below the Funk", "Call Me Up" - what more can you ask for? I explored her record collection and became school friends, you know, nothing forever but companions, fellow freaks, if you will - not a term we used, though - we called ourselves and our friends GDIs - Gamma Delta Independents. There would be a party somewhere each weekend and something stupid will happen or somebody would introduce some new controlled substance. Among our core, a secret handshake was seeing each other walking down the street and all of a sudden start calling"Yo Momma...That's Right I said Yo Momma" to the befuddlement of all the skinny tie frat boys and Dixie Roadduck loving jocks. We could never to be as cool a dresser as Rick but she bought some vinyl boots and I got some cooler shirts. After that came P-funk, George Clinton, Sugarhill Gang, Prince and we mixed that all in with psyche and The Clash and blues (Bob Margolin) and rockabilly... But it was Rick James who broke my funk cherry. Pass him that joint...

Jungle Boogie - P-Funk (referring page)
Ma Baker - Boney M-Sash (referring page)
Jump Delight - Lil Kim vs. Sugarhill Gang (referring page)
Bustin' Out on Funk - TD (referring page)
Dirty Mind - Jeff Beck (referring page)
Mary Jane - The R.E.D.D. (referring page)
Give It To Me Baby - Funky Brass Factory (referring page)
Don't Leave Me This Way - Thelma Houston (referring page)

Rick James - 1948-2004

Official Website
Image courtesy Music Matic


Batman24 said...

I would LOVE to know who did that song: "Yo Momma...that's right, I said yo mamma"

I have been looking for it eveywhere!!!

Jim H said...

I always thought it was the Sugarhill Gang but don't hold me to that.