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Host Robin Milling remembers the late Super Freak star Rick James on his birthday with her interview on the cusp of his 2002 tour and 20 anniversary of his number one album on the R&B charts, Street Songs.
Growing up in the ghetto as James Johnson, Rick describes it as his 'essence,' saying his experiences there whether positive or negative became the inspiration for Street Songs. He attributes his success to singing about ghetto life. Despite temptation to go down a rougher path, he attributes his mother's strength and influence raising eight 'crazy' children, which he says deterred him from becoming a pimp or a drug dealer.
James died in 2004 ultimately from a heart attack, having suffered a stroke in 1998. He tells Robin laying in his hospital bed not being able to see or move was a wake-up call to cherish every waking moment. He was determined to make a comeback and prove he could perform again, wanting to give his fans a taste of the simpler life once again. He talks about his heady success in the 80s as a time he would not want to replicate, preferring to slow down and spend more time with his son.
James discusses his memoirs The Confessions of Rick James: Memoirs of a Super Freak which was finally published in 2007 and his hopes to make it into a movie with Terrence Howard possibly portraying him. Eerily Rick said he was excited to see how the final chapter of his life would play out.
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It's good to talk.