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August 25, 2004

More Rick James

As you all can tell by now, I can’t ever get enough of Rick James (and Dave Chappelle). Even after he’s passed away, I still can’t stop laughing everytime I see the Rick James skit. I must’ve seen it at least 40 times now, but it never stops to be funny. Some people–namely chicks–can’t understand what’s so funny about this. To these and other naysayers, I say to you one thing: if I were supreme dictator of this planet, you all would be on the first space shuttle out.

Anyway, a friend of mine directed me to a Rick James interview that was conducted recently by the website, www.allhiphop.com.  For those who don’t want to read the whole interview, scroll down to the summary and closing comments.

AllHipHop.com: Are you Muslim?

Rick: I study Islam and prefer to call God, Allah. I have studied Islam for 7 years. I am a spiritualist, I believe in God but I prefer to call him Allah

AllHipHop.com: What attracted you to Islam?

Rick: Because Islam is one of the most powerful dedicated regimented religions that I have ever studied. And it opened up a whole new light for me.

AllHipHop.com: Did you study this on your own, or did you have someone….

Rick: Allah, or God, leads you towards what you are supposed to do, when I was thinking about my stroke, and my mother and stuff, the only person I could turn to was God. Christianity, I didn’t believe in. Islam is not interested in what you wear, and it doesn’t care for all of that.

AllHipHop.com: I had expressed converting to Islam, with a girlfriend of mines…

Rick: When you convert to Islam you have to be ready, you have to pray five times a day. You have to know what you are getting into.

AllHipHop.com: She was immediately turned off, now with mainstream and in accordance with situation in Iraq…

Rick: There has always been in every religion, warriors and soldiers, you have fanatics. Bin Laden, we are the Bin Laden terrorists of the world, we have killed more people than Bin Laden and Saddam put together with Adolf Hitler. We dropped bombs and killed millions of people in Japan.

AllHipHop.com: Do you consider the current war, a holy war?

Rick: No, it isn’t a holy war, it is a war based on money. The only reason we went over there was to kill Saddam to get the oil. It’s a shame, ‘cause Bush’s racist brother was stopping blacks from going to the polls.

AllHipHop.com: Have you seen Fahrenheit 9/11?

Rick: I loved it. What do you think? I mean, Republicans believe it’s not true, but it is fact based. The media seems to not be as critical of the President. The President does not have the ultimate power; the largest power seat in the US is Chairman of the House. Because you can’t f**k with him. That’s what Arnold Schwartzenegger is going to run for. Louis Stokes is my first cousin and he has been a congressman for over 50 years. Me and him talk a lot, and he told me that’s the most important position. People don’t know that big brother’s are going to be watching them.

AllHipHop.com: I watched 1984 just the other day. I read the book when I was 15. I read the book and then saw the movie and thought this is so much of what is starting to happen today.

Rick: Yes, I read it too. I never graduated from high school but I was damned if I was going to be dumb. That’s why in my songs, I used innuendos and stuff I gave them a glimpse of wordology, and I never lied to them.

AllHipHop.com: Are you going to have these messages on your double album?

Rick: They already have been. I had a song about nuclear warfare. I’m trying to talk to our people.

AllHipHop.com: A lotta people like Bill Cosby, Spike Lee…

Rick: Bill Cosby has no f**kin’ idea. Spike Lee is so self-f**king-indulgent. Danny Glover is the only person that makes any sense. And Colin Powell is a cracker cookie black killing piece of s**t. Bush is a f**kin’ maniac.

AllHipHop.com: Wow. Have you heard of the possibility of a draft?

Rick: Ain’t gonna be no f**kin’ draft. Soon as they do a draft, its gonna be a Third World War right here in the United States, because Black people ain’t going.

AllHipHop.com: You ain’t lying.

Rick: How is there gonna be a draft when there ain’t even a World War. The next world war is a button, man. And, Korea is gonna start that s**t up. Korea already told us, “Kiss our ass!” [Like a U.S. official] “We’d like to take all of your weapons of mass destruction and destroy them.” Korea said, “I’ll tell you what you do, bring ya asses over here! And ya’ll destroy them, motherf**kers!”

AllHipHop.com: [Laughs]

Rick: And Revelations in the Bible says, the Dragon will rise so shall be the end of the times. The Red Dragon is Korea. Korea told us, “Kiss our ass! Now come on over here!”

AllHipHop.com: I don’t think we’ll mess with Korea.

Rick: We said, “Ok, excuse me.” Give me a f**kin’ break. Korea ain’t having it. I love Korea, man. Korea is a Muslim country. There are many Muslims…It’s very deep. Just think how I feel. Most people walking around the street just don’t give a f**k that any minute if they don’t have money, they will have a number stamped on their ass. They don’t give a f**k that money is going to be obsolete.

AllHipHop.com: You are right. I can’t seem to live with my ATM.

Rick: Computers, man. You won’t even need to type.

AllHipHop.com: I’m on the computer too much.

Rick: All those computer are gonna be taken away and its going to be vocal. Anything you want the computer to do, you will talk to it. Its also going to watch you’re a**.

AllHipHop.com: In a way, they watch you now, because they can monitor your email, where you surf…

Rick: No, the government is going to run computers and TV’s. Eventually, there are things that you can say in the telephone and you’ll have helicopters over your f**kin’ house in five.

AllHipHop.com: My whole thing is how do you prevent these things from happening?

Rick: My whole thing is being conscious and not just running around here thinking everything is all right because it ain’t. And my whole thing is trying to teach other Blacks, whoever wants to listen, that there is a better way. We can run this s**t if we unify. All Spike Lee wants to do is talk about a bunch of bulls**t and how mad he is about white folks. Bill Cosby don’t want to be Black.

AllHipHop.com: I think Bill had some valid points, but I think he said them under the wrong conditions.

Rick: I been knowing Bill for a long time. Man, Bill Cosby’s on a trip. We need to have a coalition…Bob Johnson even sold BET. One day when we get together we can really sit down.

AllHipHop.com: Oh, yeah. That would be great.

Rick: I get really riled up now.

AllHipHop.com: It’s really good to hear somebody like yourself say these things. It’s good for us to be able to talk like this and really be real and let people know that it’s not a joke.

Rick: But you know what? It’s just that Black people are just taking the stance that they just don’t care. And, it’s scary.

AllHipHop.com: I don’t understand how people can’t just care. My parents grew up really poor…

Rick: People don’t know what they are about. There’s no more SNCC [Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee] and no more H. Rap Brown and no revolutionaries anymore. There are no people that will stand up anymore.

AllHipHop.com: I couldn’t believe that Al Sharpton signed on for a reality show.

Rick: Oh that freaks you out?

AllHipHop.com: [Laughs]

Rick: That freaks you out? Jesse Jackson will sign on for one. Come on lets talk about the Uncle Toms of the world.

AllHipHop.com: I guess I’m and idealist.

Rick: I’m an idealist, but I’m a realist too. I’m getting ready to do one of those reality shows too. Me and Jamie Fox. It’s going to be about getting Rick James back in shape, going out again. So, I’m going to be able to talk some good s**t and let people hear it. It’s not like music; I can say things and motherf***ers have to listen.

AllHipHop.com: Is this in development now?

Rick: Yeah, matter of fact; I have to call Jamie today.

AllHipHop.com: I’m happy for you.

Rick: Allah is blessing me. He ain’t blessing me to keep my mouth shut because I ain’t never did that.

AllHipHop.com: Most people are scared to talk.

Rick: They ain’t scared to talk, they ain’t got nothing to say! They are a bunch of knuckleheads.

AllHipHop.com: I’m a tell you because it’s true, but it’s not true. I interviewed Lloyd Banks, 50 Cent’s boy, and he had a lot to say…

Rick: All I know about 50 Cent’s is he got more bullets in him than Al Capone. He’s a player hater. He’s the only ni**a I saw sitting down at the f***in’ [BET] awards show not giving props. To say something, you have to have something to back it up. You better have knowledge. I don’t care what you talk about, whether its politics, theology or whatever. You better have your times and your dates together. When dealing with these fake a** people or these politicians, and I f**kin’ be blowing their minds [and they are like] “So, you never even finished high school?” No, but I did something else, I read and I studied – So lets talk motherf***er!

AllHipHop.com: I think artists are scared. As much as gangsta rap is hardcore, they rarely upset the powers that be like Ice-T or somebody did.

Rick: That’s their problem. I ain’t afraid of s**t. I’ll take a bullet for what I believe is right. I’ll die in the name of Allah at anytime.

AllHipHop.com: That’s the thing with the war…it’s like they are fighting for their God.

Rick: Muslims are fighting in the name of God; [the U.S.] is fighting in the name of dollars and cents.

AllHipHop.com: When somebody is fighting in the name of God…

Rick: …you can’t win, you cannot lose.

AllHipHop.com: Wow. Rick, thanks a lot. I don’t really have anything else to say.

Rick: Much love to you. I have a feeling that you will be blessed greatly. You have an open-heart and an open mind and you are willing to just talk about it. I can wait until one day we can meet eye-to-eye and just talk more.

AllHipHop.com: I hope to meet you and your daughter.

Rick: You all get together and you take care of her. Please look out for her.

AllHipHop.com: It was such a pleasure. By the way, one thing about Hip-Hop is that, even though it’s based on sampling, it really allows some of us to appreciate people that they don’t promote anymore.

AllHipHop.com:

Rick: Nobody is trying to stop us from your memory. They’re trying to stop us from going forward. They are not even thinking about us much, so we have to give them something to think about. [Muhammad] Ali tells me, “Rick, keep saying what you are saying and keep it real.” I love him and he’s like my mentor. And I’m not going to stop.

Summary and Closing Comments: So throughout this interview, towards the end of his life, Rick James alludes quite a bit to spirituality, especially Islam. He says that he’s studied it and even calls God as Allah. In addition, some of the comments he makes, particularly his assessment on other African-Americans, is quite profound and sounds much like what Malcolm X was trying to tell his people. Now, Rick James is definitely no Malcolm X (may God have mercy on him), but it does make you wonder… if Rick had been alive longer, and given his association with Dave Chappelle… would he have declared himself as an orthodox Muslim?

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