Rick James’ autobiography, “Memoirs of a Superfreak”, isn’t exactly an award-winning piece of writing. However, it gives you an idea of how much the title of “super freak” actually fit Rick. Somewhat shamefully, those freaky antics (immortalized in the legendary Dave Chappelle skit) have obscured the fact that Rick made some pretty good music.
“Super Freak” is one of those near perfect fusions of rock and funk. While Rick (if he was still here) would say that Prince got much of his style from Rick (the two toured together in 1980), the fact is a) how the hell could Prince have followed Rick when their debuts came out the same year? (1978) and b) doesn’t “Super Freak” sound somewhat reminiscent of Prince’s “When You Were Mine”, which came out a year before “Super Freak” (and would have placed pretty high on this chart if I included tracks that were never commercially released as single A-sides)? Then again, Prince never had The Temptations sing background on his biggest hit. Either way, this song’s hard to knock. If the B-52’s met Parliament/Funkadelic, the result would have been “Super Freak”.
I love the way Yahoo! Music follows “Super Freak” with “Trapped in the Closet”. Ladies & gentlemen, it’s the Sick Fucks of R&B playlist!!