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Soul-Patrol Newsletter Headlines (8/9/2004)

1. Rick James Resources On The Soul-Patrol Website
2. Rick James/Soundtrack of My Life
3. Rick James Career Retrospective
4. Rick James: Ebony Eyes and Soul Sista

5. Rick James - In The End, What Did It All Mean???
6. 8/13 Rick James Chat Session : In the Soul-Patrol Chat Room @ 10pm est

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1. Rick James Resources On The Soul-Patrol Website


LOS ANGELES -- An autopsy Saturday failed to determine the cause of death for funk legend Rick James, authorities said.

James, 56, died in his sleep Friday at his home near Universal City. The singer was a diabetic and also had a pacemaker. He suffered a stroke in 1998. His three children -- daughter Ty and sons Rick Jr. and Tazman -- said Friday through a spokeswoman that they believe their father died of heart failure. James had a history of cocaine addiction that led him to two assault convictions in the 1990s and a two-year stretch in prison. Officials are awaiting results of a toxicology test, which could take several weeks, said Lt. David Smith, supervising investigator of the Los Angeles County coroner's office. James's career peaked in 1981 with "Super Freak," a song so enduring that a strain of its infectious bass line powered the MC Hammer hit "U Can't Touch This" nearly a decade later. The song earned the Grammy for best R&B song in 1990 for both Hammer and James. James had enjoyed a bit of a revival recently, in part because of comedian Dave Chappelle portraying him as violent and arrogant on his "Chappelle's Show." James himself appeared.

On Friday, when it was announced that Rick had passed away, the Soul-Patrol Website got FOUR TIMES its normal traffic. (Seems that what it takes for people to seek out information is for someone to have to die...)

Anyhow... Here is a list of resources on the Soul-Patrol site about Rick James.









In addition there are 495 listings in the Online SoulPower Search Database relative to Rick James…
Rick James: Online SoulPower Search Database ( )

(pass it along....)

--Bob Davis

Street Songs CD Deluxe

2. Rick James/Soundtrack of My Life  


Wow! My niece called me and I was shocked. Went to a Frat convention and many of them hadn't heard about Rick James. He is definitely a part of the 'Soundtrack of My life", especially high school and college. "Fire & Desire" will always remind of teenage angst, in hoping to find someone to slow drag with a high school house parties. (Yes, I was usually successful!) "Hard to Get" will always remind me of winning the freshman picnic dance contest on the 2nd day of college. "Happy" reminds me of college itself. Every time I hear it I think of teh smell of the dorm as well as my Polo cologne, which I did not leave the dorm without. it also reminds me of a special young lady with whom I romanced for one day. The next day she ended up going with who was to become my best friend in college!.....I am going to miss Rick James and his music. Yes, I did buy his last album also....Thanks for the memories, Rick!


Street Songs CD Deluxe

3. Rick James Career Retrospective

Urban Rapsody

As I sat here going thru my collection of Rick James material trying to figure out what songs I was going to put on a 60 min. Soul-Patrol.Net radio retrospective, I began to realize the error of my ways.

Rick James himself saved me the trouble. He did his own insightful and honest appraisal of his career back in 1997. So I think that I'll just leave it at that. Rick does a much better job than I could and also provides us with a history of FUNK ta boot!

The song "GOOD OL DAYS" from the 1997 release called URBAN RAPSODY, just about sums it up and it's in Ricks own voice.

It's playing right now in the "blackround" at the main page of Soul-Patrol at: SURF THE: SOUL-PATROL.COM WEBSITE

Where it can be listened to in the context of the beautiful obituary written by our own Debra Walker.

Take a listen and let me know what cha think...

--Bob Davis

Street Songs CD Deluxe

4. Rick James: Ebony Eyes and Soul Sista

Urban Rapsody

What a beautiful song this is.
(I'm sure that you have all heard it over the years)
It's a great tribute to the Black woman

Rick James was an outstanding songwriter in my opinion and he doesn't get the credit for it that he deserves. I just wanted to give Rick some props and to also illustrate a point for my next posting...

Wind in your hair, sun on your skin
You re looking good, girl, all over again
Hey there, Miss Brown
I want you to know I love you

Brown as the sand, you re soft as the shore
You re leaving me hungry, I m crying for more
Ooh, we, baby, girl, you re such a score
And I want you to know that, you know what, girl

I love you
I bet you didn't know that, girl
You didn't know that
I need you
Right now, baby, right now, baby
And I bet you didn't know that ebony eyes


Lips soft and tender, ready to speak
Her voice says, I love you {I love you} and it s making me weak
Hey there, little girl, may I just say I love you
Tell em how you feel, Rick

Love is the brown skin girl in my eyes
Think it's time that I told you, don't you realize
You re such a queen, woman, you re such a prize
And I want you to know that, you know what, girl

I love you
And I bet you didn't know that, girl
You didn't know that
I need you
Right now, baby, right now, baby
And I bet you didn't know that ebony eyes

I love you ebony eyes, oh, my
I need you, woman
I need you (Ooh...)
Oh, and I bet you didn't know that ebony eyes

I really love you (Ooh...ooh...), woman, I love you (Love you)
Ebony eyes (Ooh...), oh, my
I wanna say that I need you (Ooh...ooh...ooh...ooh...), honey, I need you
And I bet you didn't know that ebony eyes

Ebony eyes (Woo...woo...ooh...woo...hoo...)
Ebony eyes, oh, my (Hoo...)
Ebony eyes (Hoo...hoo...hoo...)
Girl, and I bet you didn t know that ebony eyes

Love you (Love you, love you)
Ebony eyes


Now if you look a the lyrics to this song, it becomes apparent that the song "Soul Sista" (taken from the Urban Rapsody CD) is a continuation of the same theme as "Ebony Eyes".

"Girl have i told u how i really feel"
And if I showed u would u be for real?
"And take these words of love from my heart And hold them forever.
U are my soulsistah .....Soulsistah..

"Could this be destiny or just our fate"
"To lay your brown skinned body down and taste all your sweetness baby.
And take me to your never never never neverland
Girl I long to get so deep into your soul
You are my Soulsistah Soulsistah..."

"Golden girl with ebony eyes
I have searched my life for u
Now you're here so lay by my side
It's my fate that you're my soul mate..
U are my soulsistah..Soulsistah....."

I'm tellin yall, this was a CD that was SERIOUSLY SLEPT ON from the late 1990's. In my opinion Urban Rapsody was the best album that Rick James ever produced. EVERY TRACK IS STRONG AND INSIGHTFUL. I have little doubt that it must have broken his heart when the album didn't do well commercially with KNEE-GRO radio stations.

Check your cutout bins in the record store and GRAB IT...

Urban Rapsody - Rick James

1. Urban Rapsody
2. West Coast Thang
3. Somebody's Watching You
4. Back In You Again
5. Turn It Out
6. Good Ol Days
7. Player's Way
8. Never Say You Love Me
9. It's Time
10. So Soft So Wet
11. Bring On The Love
12. Mama's Eyes
13. Soul Sista
14. Favorite Flava
15. Urban Rapsody (reprise)

-- Bob Davis

Street Songs CD Deluxe

5. Rick James - In The End, What Did It All Mean???

D Moon and Rick James
Unlike our friend Daryl Moon, I never got the chance to meet Rick James in person.
Obviously Rick James was one of my favorite artists. He represented at the same time, the very best and the worst about the culture of FUNK. His music was wonderful, often bordering on greatness. His personal behavior was such that he had to be put in jail because of it.

He was a product of his times. I mean when else could a love song to reefer (Mary Jane) have become a hit record?

He wrote hit songs about life in the ghetto (Ghetto Life), he wrote songs about life in the fast lane (Super Freak) and he wrote some of the most beautiful love songs ever laid down on wax (Ebony Eyes).

He was a crossover artist who talked openly in his music about some of the worst and the best in Black America. Yet at the same time Rick James made no apologies for this. He just wrote what he felt, and what he experienced. And he did so within the corporate structure of Motown, where in some ways he was a traditionalist, providing mentoring for other artists like the Stone City Band, Process & the Doo Rags, Tina Marie and the Mary Jane Girls.

In the end I wonder what his early death means for the culture of FUNK?
He, George Clinton and Prince were the last 3 artists that the "mainstream media" referred to as a "FUNK ARTIST".

In no way do I feel connected to either George Clinton or Prince on an individual level. Perhaps that will change in the future?

In the case of Rick James however, I always felt that he was one of those crazy kneegroes that Richard Pryor used to talk about all of the time. You know, the kind that you would see at the rib shack or at the basketball courts. You know... the crazy kneegroes who had dreams and dared to talk about em in public. And more importantly, the kind of crazy kneegroes who were willing to go up against the odds, the status quo, the government or whomever, in order to give every ounce of strength that they had in order to try and make those dreams come true.

Rick James made his own American Dream come true. And then it turned into a nightmare...

Black people need more individuals who are willing to stand up and follow their dreams. Today in the year 2004, there are too few in my opinion who are willing to do so. Most of us seem to be willing to accept the status quo and readily become a part of it, even when it will lead to our own demise.

Rick James knew that his own demise was already pre-determined and that it would be early. So he just chose to do his own thang. And simply let the chips fall where they may.

In the end, I don't really know what it all means. All I know is that I feel like I lost a
friend. A friend that I have never met. Yet a person that I feel that I know everything about. And at the same time, someone I know nothing about.

In the end, Rick James remains very much an enigma to me. Just like the generation of Black Americans he represents (the one that I belong to).

He is BOTH the very best and the very worst in Black America. He was both a genius and a buffoon at the same time. He was an average person caught up in an extraordinary circumstance, that he was unable to control. And in the end, somehow I feel that he couldn't even resolve it all in his own mind?

Hopefully my generation of Black Americans will be able to resolve it before it's too late?
In my opinion we really don't have a choice. Unlike Rick James, we can't simply plan on having an "early demise". We have to do better than that and we can.
The only question in my mind is if we will?

--Bob Davis


This piece was thoughtful, insightful and ultimately, very sad. We too, feel a sense of loss.

Billy and Rick communicated while Rick was incarcerated. Rick wrote a letter to Billy that was full of hope and promise for the future upon his release from jail. He talked about the abundance of songs he had written while in prison. He was anxious to get back into the studio and also to get back on stage.

Not long after his release from jail, he performed in Atlantic City, which is not far from our home. He invited us to come down there. Unfortunately, Billy had a gig and couldn't make it.

The opportunity never presented itself after that, and they never spoke again.

So sad..................................what DID it all mean?

--Blanche Williams (aka Mrs. Billy Paul)

Street Songs CD Deluxe

6. This Friday 8/13 Rick James Chat Session : In the Soul-Patrol Chat Room @ 10pm est  


On August 13 at 10pm (est) we will re-open the Soul-Patrol Chat Room ( with a special session devoted to the music and career of the late/great Rick James. Nightrain will host this session and he will be joined by Mr. Daryl Moon, owner of and a longtime friend of Rick James. Other "surprise guests" will be dropping by as well.

Come on out and share with us your memories, thoughts and analysis of the career of Rick James, as we listen to the music that made him a FUNK SUPERSTAR!!

Make a note…

All are welcome

We will send out a reminder on Thursday...
--Bob Davis

Street Songs CD Deluxe

If you have a news item, update, review, commentary, etc that you would like to submit to the Soul-Patrol Newsletter, please send them via email for consideration to:

Hopefully you enjoyed this edition of the Soul-Patrol Newsletter.
We will be back in about two weeks with the next edition, with any email alerts for
local events, Soul-Patrol website updates/chat sessions or breaking news in between, as required.

If you have any comments, questions, etc feel free to drop me an email and let me know what's on your mind.

Bob Davis

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