Super Freak" is a 1981 single produced and performed by Rick James. The song, co-written by James and Alonzo Miller, was first released on James' album and became one of James' Street Songs signature songs. It features background vocals from Motown labelmates The Temptations—in which the bass singer is James' uncle Melvin Franklin—and Canadian singer Taborah Johnson. "Freak" is a slang term for a very promiscuous girl, as described in the song's lyrics, "...a very kinky girl / The kind you don't take home to mother". magazine ranked the song #477 in its list of the Rolling Stone 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Nine years later,  MC Hammer's 1990 hit " U Can't Touch This" sampled it.
Chart performance [ edit ]
The song was a big hit for James in 1981, charting on the pop, R&B and dance charts in the US. On the
chart, the song peaked at no. 16 in the fall of 1981 and spent 10 weeks in the top 40. Together with two other singles from Billboard Hot 100 Street Songs, " Give It to Me Baby" and "Ghetto Life", it spent three weeks at no. 1 on the American dance charts earlier that year.
Weekly charts [ edit ]
Year-end charts [ edit ]
Beatfreakz version [ edit ]
On 2 October 2006, the
Beatfreakz covered the song, as "Superfreak", and gained a no. 7 UK hit with it.
Other cover versions [ edit ]
In 1984, Los Angeles-based novelty band
Big Daddy (whose comic conceit was to cover fast songs as ballads and slow songs up-tempo, and all contemporary songs done in 1950s style) recorded the song to a slower beat as if it had been done by the Everly Brothers. In 1989, the song was covered by thrash metal band
Mordred on their album Fool's Game. In 2006, a cover by
Billy Crawford was included on the soundtrack to the 2006 animated film . Asterix and the Vikings In 2007, the song was covered in bluegrass style by
Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby on their eponymous collaborative album. In 2013, Welsh post-hardcore band
The Blackout recorded a cover version as a bonus track on their fourth studio album Start the Party.
Live cover performances [ edit ]
Sampling [ edit ]
The riff of the song was most popularly sampled in 1990 by
MC Hammer in his well known single, " U Can't Touch This". The song was also sampled in Wassuup by Da Muttz in 2001. Hip hop artist
GZA/Genius sampled the song on his debut 1991 album . Words from the Genius In 1997, artist
Jude's song entitled "Rick James" (no. 28 Billboard Modern Rock Chart) featured the words "Oh, Rick James was the original Super Freak" in its chorus line. The title track of
Jay-Z's 2006 comeback album features a sample from "Super Freak". Kingdom Come In the 2007 song "
Freaky Gurl" by Gucci Mane, the lines in the chorus pay homage to the original Rick James song. In 2007, French actor/rapper
Disiz la Peste released a rap song in French that uses of "Super Freak" as the instrumental backing. In 2013, British singer
Lily Allen sampled the song for her single "Hard out Here". In 2016, Brazilian band
Banda Uó, uses the melody to their single "Arregaçada".
In popular culture [ edit ]
The song appears in the soundtrack of the 1983 movie
. Doctor Detroit In the
Philippines, the song was played in the Philippine Basketball Association TV coverage by Vintage Sports during the 1984 First All-Filipino Conference, it was used for the commentators. In the 1986 movie
, Heartbreak Ridge Mario Van Peebles as Corporal 'Stitch' Jones, sings most of the song before he is thrown out of a bar. In season 4 of
, Rick James guest stars and performs this song in the episode "The Heart of Rock n Roll." The A-Team An instrumental version of the song was featured in the 1992 movie
. Batman Returns In a 1998 episode of
, disappointed to find out she hadn't been the inspiration to the fictional song "Nina in The Cantina", Nina Van Horn found solace in the belief that she was at least the inspiration to Rick James' Just Shoot Me! Super Freak. In the 2002 episode of
titled "Me and My Shadow," Flex ( One on One Flex Alexander) and Duane ( Kelly Perine) decide to have a high school band and Alfonso Ribeiro sings the song. In the 2006 comedy film
, Olive Hoover ( Little Miss Sunshine Abigail Breslin) performs a burlesque routine to the song at a children's beauty pageant. The song is featured in the soundtrack of
(2006). Scarface: The World Is Yours In an episode of the American sitcom
, George sings this song to the baby he thinks is in Angie's womb. George Lopez In season 7 episode 10 of
, a drunk Two and a Half Men Charlie Harper sings this song at the wedding of his brother Alan. This song is played in the 2010 film
when Greg is constantly being taken down by Fregley in their wrestling class. Diary of a Wimpy Kid In the 2013 war film
, the song is referenced sporadically. Lone Survivor
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
^ "Super Freaky Bluegrass". Billboard 119 (13): 48. March 31, 2007. ISSN 0006-2510.
^ "New Dance Central Songs Hit Tomorrow from Missy Elliott and Rick James". IGN. February 14, 2011 . Retrieved . May 10, 2015
^ "RIAA – Gold & Platinum Searchable Database – Super Freak". RIAA . Retrieved . July 11, 2014
^ The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (1-500) at the Wayback Machine (archived October 25, 2006). . Retrieved July 11, 2014. Rolling Stone
^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – Chart Positions Pre 1989 Part 4". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien . Retrieved . July 11, 2014
^ " Ultratop.be – Rick James – Super Freak" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
^ "Radio 2 Top 30 : 28 november 1981" (in Dutch). Top 30 . Retrieved . July 11, 2014
^ " Top RPM Singles: Issue 0460." . RPM Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
^ " Nederlandse Top 40 – Rick James - Super Freak search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
^ " Dutchcharts.nl – Rick James – Super Freak" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
^ " Charts.org.nz – Rick James – Super Freak". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
^ a b c "Street Songs – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network . Retrieved . July 14, 2013
^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending OCTOBER 31, 1981 at the Wayback Machine (archived May 11, 2012). . Retrieved July 11, 2014. Cash Box magazine
^ RECORD WORLD 1981 at the Wayback Machine (archived July 15, 2004). . Geocities.com. Retrieved July 11, 2014. Record World
^ "Jaaroverzichten 1981" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien . Retrieved . July 11, 2014
^ "Top 100-Jaaroverzicht van 1981" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 . Retrieved . July 11, 2014
^ "Jaaroverzichten – Single 1981" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Hung Medien . Retrieved . July 11, 2014
^ a b " Ultratop.be – Beatfreakz – Superfreak" (in Dutch). Ultratip. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
^ " Beatfreakz: Superfreak" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
^ " Lescharts.com – Beatfreakz – Superfreak" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
^ " The Irish Charts – Search Results – Superfreak". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
^ " Nederlandse Top 40 – Beatfreakz - Superfreak search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
^ " Dutchcharts.nl – Beatfreakz – Superfreak" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
^ (Romanian) Issue nr: 48/2006 (04 Decembrie - 10 Decembrie 2006) at the Wayback Machine (archived December 6, 2006). See last week peak position. Romanian Top 100. Retrieved July 11, 2014.
^ " Archive Chart: 2006-10-21" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved July 14, 2013.
External links [ edit ]