The album Rick James was working on before his fatal 2004 heart attack will be released in early
May, his business manager said.
The as-yet-untitled Stone City Records release features tracks
the funk singer wrote in the last two or three years of his life; it
was originally due in August 2005 via Sanctuary.
“This is one he really wanted out,” Ron Kramer told
Billboard.com. “He really didn’t want anybody else on these songs. He
wanted to prove himself again. He wanted people to enjoy him; his
The album’s first single, “Deeper Still,” will hit urban
radio in late January. A 30-second snippet of the cut can be heard on
James’ Web site (http://rickjames.com/).
In addition, “Memoirs of a Superfreak,” an autobiography
James wrote while incarcerated in Folsom Prison for assault from 1993-1995, will be released in April via Amber Communications.
James’ estate has also given the go-ahead to screenwriter
Sheldon Turner (“The Longest Yard”) to begin work on a film about
James’ life. Contrary to early reports, Dave Chappelle, who famously
parodied James on his “Chappelle’s Show,” will not be involved in the
“When Rick was alive, Dave Chappelle wanted to make a movie,”
Kramer said. “But Rick didn’t want a movie made of the caricature of
himself from Dave’s show. He wanted a real story.”
James, who had battled drug addiction for years and suffered
a 1998 stroke, had methamphetamine, cocaine, Vicodin and Xanax in his
system at the time of death, according to the autopsy report.