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Unfortunately, he didn’t turn down the drugs that had become a part of his life, nor did he turn down the many women who clamored for his attention on the road.

In the end, it was the former that contributed to his death.

Though it often reads like the combination of a novel and a supermarket tabloid, “Super Freak” isn’t bad. It’s not great, either.

Like so many biographers of music stars, author Benjaminson includes too much here: too many names dropped, too much minutiae on performances and, when it comes to Rick James’ private life, too much information.

(“Super Freak: The Life of Rick James” by Peter Benjaminson, c.2017, Chicago Review Press $28.99/354 pages.)

 

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