In 2002, James was asked by Rolling Stone how he'd like to be remembered.
"As someone who beat the odds, and as a musician who gave up the truth," James said, adding emphatically--and colorfully: "My music ain't no contrived [B-S]. It ain't no sci-fi [crap]. It's the real [you-know-what] deal."
How he wouldn't like to be remembered:
In 1991, he was arrested for singeing a woman with a hot crack pipe. In 1992, while out on bail, he was arrested for beating up another woman at a West Hollywood hotel.
In 1993, he was convicted of assault in the two arrests, but cleared of a torture charge in the crack-pipe incident that could have put him behind bars for the rest of his life. He served two years in prison.
For the truly nostalgic, at RickJames.com, you can watch Rick James video snippets and listen to Rick James Radio, featuring a 24-hour per day, 7-days per week stream of the "elder statesman of funk."