Rick James: Fire And Desire Pt. 2

AllHipHop.com: You guys made timeless music, we always say that the type of music Hip-Hop is, when we are older we won’t really be able to enjoy it… Rick: Hip-Hop is a replica or a refurbished version of old school. When you can’t make a hit record unless you do a Rick James album what […]

AllHipHop.com: You

guys made timeless music, we always say that the type of music Hip-Hop is, when

we are older we won’t really be able to enjoy it…

Rick: Hip-Hop is

a replica or a refurbished version of old school. When you can’t make

a hit record unless you do a Rick James album what does that tell you? On one

hand I love it, but on the other hand it is taking music out of schools and

kids don’t know how to play instruments. They resort to the best thing

they know how, like black people surviving, taking away an art form. Can I really

love that? I am pro-black, so for me to see these kids grow up in the projects

and they can’t play nothing, but they can take a Rick James record and

turn that around the turntable as Rap: sitting, drinking Crystal. I mean it’s

a beautiful thing just as well.


What do you think about kids not playing instruments, I am a former musician

myself I used to take interest in guitar and drums…

Rick: I think it

is a very sad thing, I think it’s a plot by the government, number 1 to

take music out of schools. I think it is the worst thing that the government

has done to the educational program. When I was growing up, you could play guitar,

drums, saxophone, learn music theory, harmony all that s**t. Now, you can’t

even get an instrument in high school and kids have nothing to r resort too,

and that’s a very sad thing.


Can you speak on that project that you, Kanye West and Bumpy Johnson are doing?

What did you guys do together?

Rick: Well that’s

a very strange thing, how that happened. My son called me up once when I talked

to him, and said to me that his favorite rapper was Kanye West, and I didn’t

know who the hell Kanye West was. He had introduced me to Andre from Outkast

in Atlanta and I didn’t know who the hell he was either. I was wearing

an Outkast shirt that I had bought, so I went over to him and we talked, I told

him I loved all his records, but I didn’t know one record. This Kanye

West thing my son turned me on to it too and my ex-wife, she said “Rick

you have to get this album by this kid, Kanye West,” so I said “why

is it so special?” Because he doesn’t look like a rapper with gold

teeth, baseball hats on the side, he’s not talking about b***hes and hoes,

and he isn’t shooting people. He actually has some religious connotation

to his music, which really attracted me. I went and bought the album and I liked

it, thought this boy had some talent, next thing I am getting a call to do a

Kanye West bit. So you know God works in mysterious ways.


So did you play instruments or just sing?

Rick: What I did

is, I laid about 16 tracks of vocals, just to help with the melody. He was a

very sweet kid, very humble. It was really a joy; it is always a joy watching

these young kids who learned from us do what they do now. Because a lot of stuff

these kids are doing, I can’t do. I hear some tracks going on, and say

what was he on? I think they need to get together more often. One of the reasons

why Andre and Outkast is so great is because they grew up from what he told

me, on the old school. I mean he knows about the Beatles; he knows about Rick

James, Jimi Hendrix; he has done his homework. Their album is one of the best

rap album’s I have ever heard.


Did you work with Andre?

Rick: We are trying

to match our schedules, it’s just that he is so busy now. What he is going

through right now, I went through. He is so busy I don’t even like bugging

him, and we keep missing each other on the phone. He wants to work with me really

bad and I want to work with him also. But if we never work together its okay,

I just want him to enjoy his fame. Who knows if next year anybody will buy Outkast;

and if he strays to far away from his black base, he is really going to lose

it. It going to be like a Prince thing, that’s what f**ked Prince up;

he was getting too white. There is a middle ground there, cause I think me,

Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, The Commodores got that middle ground, unlike

Lenny Kravitz. He wants to do a black thing but he is successful with his white

thing, but he doesn’t feel comfortable because it’s a white thing

and there are no black people in the crowd. If you have 20,000 white people

out there paying 100.00 a ticket, and all are girls, be happy! People come over

to my house, musicians, and Lenny won’t touch an instrument, because he

feels inferior. Think about it, its like Hootie & the Blowfish trying to

come up on stage and jam with me.


You talking about a double album, talk to me a little bit about that.

Rick: It’s

going to have about 26/27 songs and it is going to be very interesting, it is

going to be a lot of things that I always wanted to do.


What kind of label situation are you working out?

Rick: I am doing

my own label, independent. I want to be just like Puffy. I want to make $700

million. If I could have done it 20 years ago, I would have done it.


I spoke to Stephanie Mills, and she kind of echoed the same thing about the

entrepreneurship of rappers and she’s doing her own independent thing

too. I think that is a great thing for you guys especially because people are

going to get it and you guys obviously get the lion share of their money.

Rick: When I was

at the BET Awards this year, I was totally happy. When I saw [Grandmaster Flash

& The Furious Five], it almost brought tears to my eyes. Because they were

so powerful and this is where Rap started, they weren’t singing about

killing people and AK’s or sticking d*cks up b***hes a####. Then, Rap

was a statement, “Don’t push me cause I am close to the edge”

that’s still going on.” It’s like a jungle sometimes,”

some of the greatest statement ever made. The old school segment was great,

and my daughter got a chance to see how powerful Rap was, she got to see the



Would you say what you did back in the day was risky? “Super Freak,”

was that shocking back then?

Rick: Everything

that I have written, is stuff that comes from me, like George Clinton he writes

sci-fi Funk, and he is great at it. He is a quintessential Funk artist. My musical

intake is so much that it is hard for me to be new wave, because I come from

so many different areas, every song that I have ever written came from my heart,

I am not Prince, I don’t write stupid s**t. I talk about the streets,

love affairs, a fire desire.


What’s your favorite song?

Rick: I don’t

really have a favorite song, but I have favorite moments. The moments with Temptations,

I have the song with all seven Temptations, in the world and a video. Those

are some of my proudest moments; there isn’t another recording with all

seven. Recording with Smokey Robinson was another great moment; with Chaka Khan

was another great moment.


What about Eddie Murphy [Eddie Murphy scored a hit in the 80’s with the

Rick James produced “Party All The Time”]

Rick: Eddie Murphy

was a boring moment… it was exciting to take a comedian who has a great

voice and give him a hit record.


People try to crack jokes on that…

Rick: They can

crack all the jokes they want on Eddie Murphy. DJ’s did not want to play,

“Party all the Time.” He didn’t do radio. He was already a

multi-millionaire. He said, “f**k y’all,” and they didn’t

want him to be a success, but his record was so strong they couldn’t stop

it. You can’t stop a hit record, a bulls**t record, you can promote the

hell out of it and nothing will happen. There is no music that is going to change

your way of dress, the constitution, your religion, or anything like that. Matter

of fact a lot of Rap music has taken black people back 900 years. Whenever I

hear black people say, “N***er,” it makes me sick to my stomach.

Number one, the word has nothing to do with black people, it makes me sick to

hear white people scream, “N***er,” because of the derogative term

that it has come to be, which it wasn’t originally. Music has taken a

turn for the worst, it is an art form, but I don’t call it music.