"I'm Dead Bitch!"

It should be obvious to anyone reading this that Rick James means a great deal to those of us at YAD. In fact, he may be the single most influental person who ever lived as far as we're concerned. We were shocked and saddened at his sudden drug overdo- i mean, mysterious death, and original plans for the first issue to be about sensible public policy went out the window. I mean, it's RICK JAMES, people. Do you know this man?! Do we even know him???

To get some perspective on just how much he means to all of us, I asked the staff to write a little bit about why Rick's loss is so tragic, and what they'll carry to the grave about him:

Adam "The Hammer" Davis: I don't remember much. I can tell you two things: one time i was at camelot music and my friend found Freak Flag in the bargain bin and we bought it and it was really crappy, and i said why did you buy it? and on VH1's the list, he referred to himself as the number one artist of R&B and of all time. Pretty much, i'd forgotten about him until Chappelle's Show.

Matt Barrett: Uh, Rick James. Well, I guess my first clear memory was sitting up of two giant mounds of cocaine, and rick said "i'm rick james, bitch." and i thought, you know, you're goddamn right. and he hated women with saggy tits. you know, cocaine induced parties.

Randy Pettigrew: he was such an asshole. he's always coming over to our house and fucking shit up. one time he came over, there were like 10 people, and he walked in screaming "I'm rick james bitch! cocaine is a hell of a drug" the he threw a lamp or something. i hate that fucking guy.

Liz Fitzpatrick: rick james used to be my baby sitter. i remember spending a lot of time in the closet with rick james. that's all i can really say about it...

Cobalt Steele: About three months before I quit my first writing gig for “Generic Men’s Monthly” I was assigned to follow Rick around after his tour. He had been hired on as a wedding singer at this incredibly ugly broad’s wedding. To make a long story short, during one of the band breaks, he got into a scuff with the bride, and ended up slapping her. I(along with the groom)  thought this was pretty funny and thus flicked a cigarette in her face. Rick and I always had a connection after that.

Rosalynd Van Dyke: I don’t like to speak ill of the dead but yeah, I remember that asshole. I was 19 and about to make the biggest irreversible mistake of my life. As if getting married to Joe weren’t bad enough, he insisted that we hire Rick James as our wedding singer. He was obviously doing Cracked cocaine in the bathroom during the breaks and I’d had enough. I confronted him outside of the men’s room when one of his lackeys shouted… well, it doesn’t matter what “he” shouted. After some harsh words with James, I asked him to leave, and he slapped me! Then his lackey flicked a cigarette in my eye. That was the worst day of my life. Thanks Rick James.

Tom Dempster: I remember very little about Rick James. But some quick fact checking brought these results:

* Rick James is a Shakespearean trained actor who appeared in several productions of Hamlet, the unspeakable play, Annie Get Your Gun, and Termite Bug-be-gone sketch in the greater Peoria, Illinois area.
* He holds a divinity degree from Walla Walla College, taught at Toccoa college, and did post-doc research in traveling ideals of the Conestoga at Waccamaw College in Saxapahaw.
* He wasn't fully housebroken until the tender age of 27, in tandem with his first jail-time.  His cellmate helped him calibrate his low-end muscles...
* His favorite foundation is Lovely Chestnut Number 16.
*  He broke his hymen at age 6.  No, that was Ann Richards, former governor of Texas.  He broke his at age 2.  Hobbyhorse got a little frisky.
* He was the original second bass in the Fisk University Singers.
* His favorite flowers include dianthus, goldenrod, and pussy willow.

Rosa and Gaz: Ruh, re ron't remember ruch arout rick rames. Rummmm, ro roo remerer anyring, ruppy? ruppy? roh. Ro one roves Rosa....

Timothy Brednick: I like Rick James a lot. He was in my play group and he ate a lot of play doh one time and then got sick for hours. he told me that anthrax was really cocaine and that mommy and daddy wanted to scare me but not to be scared. then we went to see Wishmaster.

And what about me? What stirs in my memory when his (tragically) mortal name is spake? Well, I often hear "Super Freak" on the radio, hoping that it's "Can't Touch This" by Hammer, and always find myself bitterly disappointed. And burning women with crack pipes. And sweaty prison showers. Oh wait, that's Ol' Dirty Bastard, but he covered "Cold Blooded". yeah, I guess cocaine is a hell of a drug. Thanks Dave Chappelle and Charlie Murphy. Were it not for you, when I heard of the passing of Rick James, I might not have laughed as hard.