Published on August 31st, 2021 | by Darren Paltrowitz


Steve Rivo On The New “Bitchin’: The Sound & Fury Of Rick James” Documentary, Future Projects With Sacha Jenkins & More

After first finding success in the late 1970s via the hits “You & I” and “Mary Jane,” Rick James quickly established himself as a pioneering musician. The hits would continue to come for James in the following decades, not only as a recording artist but as a songwriter and producer for other artists. Beyond mega-hits like “Super Freak” and “Give It To Me Baby,” James is to credit for hits recorded by Eddie Murphy, Teena Marie, The Mary Jane Girls, Smokey Robinson and The Temptations. And that is without factoring in his music being sampled or covered by the likes of MC Hammer, Kanye West, LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Pusha T, Lana Del Rey, A$AP Ferg, Fat Joe, Erykah Badu… the list goes on and on. And that is also without factoring in James’ early 2000’s resurgance via Chappelle’s Show.

Bitchin’: The Sound & Fury Of Rick James is the first feature-length, premium documentary to tell the story of the legendary funkster’s extraordinary and tumultuous life, times and musical legacy. Directed by Sacha Jenkins and produced by Steve Rivo, the film was featured at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival and is slated to premiere on Showtime next month. Bitchin’: The Sound & Fury Of Rick James is highly-recommended by yours truly, as it mixes together commentary from James, James’ inner circle of family, friends and bandmates, and interviews with famous admirers of James, along with archival footage and rare recordings. In other words, if you think you know everything about James from reading his memoir or watching his late 1990’s Behind The Music episode, you would be wrong.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Steve Rivo via Zoom on August 31, 2021, as embedded below. Beyond Bitchin’: The Sound & Fury Of Rick James, we spoke about the possibility of future post-humous recordings being issued by James’ estate, James’ long-term legacy as a performer, and what Rivo is working on next. More on Bitchin’: The Sound & Fury Of Rick James can be found here, here and here.

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About the Author

Darren Paltrowitz is a New York resident with over 20 years of entertainment industry experience. He began working around the music business as a teenager, interning for the manager of his then-favorite band Superdrag. Since then, he has worked with a wide array of artists including OK Go, They Might Be Giants, Mike Viola, Tracy Bonham, Loudness, Rachael Yamagata, and Amanda Palmer. Darren's writing has appeared in dozens of outlets including the New York Daily News, Inquisitr, The Daily Meal, The Hype Magazine, All Music Guide, Guitar World,, Businessweek, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times, and the Jewish Journal.Beyond being "Editor At Large" for The Hype Magazine, Darren is also the host of weekly "Paltrocast With Darren Paltrowitz" series, which airs on dozens on television and digital networks. He has also co-authored 2 published books, 2018's "Pocket Change: Your Happy Money" (Book Web Publishing) and 2019's "Good Advice From Professional Wrestling" (6623 Press), and co-hosts the world's only known podcast about David Lee Roth, "The DLR Cast."

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