“I want to be nasty, and I want to be raw,” Rick James says early in the trailer for the upcoming documentary, Bitchin’: The Sound and Fury of Rick James.
The two-minute clip features archival interviews with the funk-pop pioneer, who died in 2004, as well as commentary from Ice Cube (“This man was a genius”) and Bootsy Collins (“He had an attitude”). The clip shows that the doc, which premieres September 3rd on Showtime, will tackle the problematic aspects of his life as well as his music, both of which reflect his unrepentant lifestyle. The preview culminates with his famous declaration, “Never mind who you thought I was, I’m Rick James, bitch!”
Showtime previously released a clip showing how James brought funk to the mainstream. In that excerpt, Collins is quoted as saying, “All’s fair in funk and war.”
“The ‘wild’ side of Rick James often eclipses his musical genius, but the mathematical equation that is his life depends on all of the numbers to make a whole,” the film’s director, Sacha Jenkins, said in a statement when the first clip came out. “Our aim was to create a balanced portrait of a brilliant artist who both chased his dreams and stalked more than a few demons. Still, his influence on funk and popular music and culture is unparalleled, and his eventual rise to the top is easily more compelling than any freebase rush.”
Up until his death, James wanted people to focus on his music. According to Rolling Stone’s obituary of the artist, in 2002, he said, “My music ain’t no contrived bullshit. It ain’t no sci-fi shit. It’s the real fuckin’ deal.”