HiddenDoor Documedia announced that it will release the feature-length documentary I'm Rick James in October of 2006 to give the public a real glimpse into the life and career of one of music's greatest personalities and most widely recognized names.
Singer and songwriter Rick James indelibly shaped the face of American music, creating the funk punk music genre and producing some of the most popular songs in the industry, including "Superfreak," "Give it to Me Baby," "Mary Jane," and "Party All the Time." With the death of James in 2004, the music world lost one of its most captivating personalities. Now, HiddenDoor, with the help of Ty James, will bring the King of Funk Punk - still one of the industry's most sampled artists - back to the stage for one final encore.
The film chronicles James' entire life and begins with his birth in a Buffalo, N.Y., ghetto in 1948. A young Rick, or James Ambrose Johnson, Jr., begins learning different instruments while he accompanies his mafia-connected mom to different nightclubs. Music becomes a central part of Rick's life, and the budding artist travels to Toronto and forms a band with Neil Young and Bruce Palmer. He learns to play the sitar during his stint as a drug runner and pimp in South America and Asia, and he later returns to the streets of Buffalo to craft his famous song "Superfreak."
After Rick's music launches him into stardom, he becomes a well-known figure at the legendary Studio 54, an energetic rival of Prince and a close buddy of Eddie Murphy. Throughout the documentary, HiddenDoor relies on existing camera footage of James to give the artist an active presence in the film and includes extensive interviews with many of his closest friends, colleagues and contemporaries.
"We're trying to give people an accurate glimpse into the energy, charisma and magnetism that Rick James possessed throughout his life and used to become a superstar," said Perry Santos, producer and co-director of the documentary. "Through his own words and many interviews with everyone from club owners to Hollywood's biggest celebrities, you really get a good look at Rick in all his glory."
Filled with the same unstoppable energy and outrageous humor as the artist himself, I'm Rick James is an unapologetic celebration of the man and his music. His powerful songs drive the documentary, featuring both never-before- heard tracks and signature hits. Tales of James' encounters with the U.S. Navy, Rod Stewart, parking attendants, and his personal crack cook, Chef Boy R Dee, keep the documentary moving at a brisk pace.
James' candid comments and thoughts are heard throughout the documentary, including "I abuse drugs, not women," "Cocaine is a hell of a drug," and the famous line, "I'm Rick James, bitch."