Funk Icon Rick James Dead at 56 
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Written by Jerry Del Colliano   
Friday, 06 August 2004

Various news sources are reporting legendary and controversial funk performer, Rick James died today at 56 in his home in Los Angeles. James reportedly died of “natural causes” but was not exactly best known for the natural substances he enjoyed in his hey day.

James is best known for his funk-pop crossover song “Super Freak” which is still popular with youthful audiences more than 20 years after its release. Recently, James was featured on Dave Chappelle’s skit-based comedy show which also helped with new found popularity with a new Generation X audience. The line “I’m Rick James – BITCH” has become a lighthearted mantra to many who watch the show.

More controversially, James was convicted in 1993 for assault when he burned a woman with a hot crack pipe in the midst of a crack binge in West Hollywood. He also ended up in trouble for reportedly holding another woman against her will. reports that Dave Chappelle was in talks to play James in an autobiographical film called “Memoirs of a Super Freak”.

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