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"Super Freak" is a 1981 hit single produced and performed by Rick James for the Motown label. The song, co-written by James and Alonzo Miller, was first released on James' album Street Songs and became one of James' signature songs. It features background vocals from Motown labelmates The Temptations, in which the bass singer is James' uncle Melvin Franklin, and Canadianmarker singer Taborah Johnson. "Freak" is a slang term for, as described in the song's lyrics, "...a very kinky girl / The kind you don't take home to mother".

The song was a big hit for James in 1981, charting on the pop, R&B and dance charts in the U.S. On the Billboard Hot 100 chart, the song peaked at #16 in the fall of 1981 and spent 10 weeks in the top 40. Together with two other singles from Street Songs, "Give It to Me Baby" and "Ghetto Life", it spent three weeks at #1 on the American dance charts earlier that year.

Yeras later, the song was included in a 2000 compilation album called Funky Grooves which contains a number of different funk hits.

Rick James later performed the song on the The A-Team TV show. It is also well known from having been sample by MC Hammer on his 1990 breakthrough hit "U Can't Touch This".

Cover versions

Live cover performances


  • The riff of the song was most popularly sampled in 1990 by MC Hammer in his best known single, "U Can't Touch This".
  • 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" (#28 Billboard Modern Rock Chart) featured the words "Oh, Rick James was the original Super Freak" in its chorus line.
  • Apollo Zero reconstructed a mashup featuring James' lead vocals to this song over the instrumentation and background vocals from the 2004 JC Chasez single "All Day Long I Dream About Sex", entitled "All Day I Dream About Sex...With a Superfreak".
  • In 2006, the Beatfreakz covered the song, as "Superfreak", and gained a #7 UK hit with it.
  • The title track of Jay-Z's 2006 comeback album Kingdom Come features a sample from "Super Freak." In the song "Freaky Gurl" by Gucci Mane, the lines in the chorus pay homage to this song.

Appearances in video games

The song has appeared in the 2006 video game Scarface: The World is Yours, as well as being featured in the 2007 Dance Dance Revolution Universe setlist.

Appearances/References in other media

See also


External links

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