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David Ritz on Rick James
08/12/13 7:26 am
As the seventies melted into the eighties, Rick was bad, superbad, the baddest of the bad. His orchestrations were brilliant, his shows spectacular. He worked in the celebrated R&B instrumental tradition—percussive guitar riffs, busy bass lines, syncopated horn punches—extending from Louis Jordan, Ray Charles, Ike Turner, James Brown, Sly Stone and George Clinton . . . His funk was high and mighty while his attitude stayed down and dirty. His eroticism was raw. He was an early gangsta of love, outrageous, unmanageable, both benefactor and victim of his own inexhaustible energy."




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