Bitchin': The Sound And Fury Of Rick James: Release Date, Cast And More

Even if you don't know any songs by funk, R&B, and soul singer Rick James off the top of your head, you've undoubtedly heard at least one before. Maybe you became familiar with him thanks to the comedic efforts of Dave Chappelle and his Comedy Central sketch series Chappelle's Show. Soon you can learn about the real recording artist thanks to Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James, a new in-depth documentary coming to Showtime that delivers a definitive portrait of the man himself, shining a light on his unapologetic career, influence on pop culture, and much more.

Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James Release Date and Where to Watch

Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James first premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival back in June. But this fall it will debut on Showtime on September 3, 2021.

What is Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James?

When the documentary premiered at Tribeca, the official festival program entry by Loren Hammonds described the movie:

"In this definitive portrait, acclaimed filmmaker Sacha Jenkins examines the brain beneath the braids, charting his soaring artistic success and eventual personal decline. Sexuality, race, and the tumultuous stew of American culture all contributed to the transformation of the songwriter born as James Ambrose Johnson into the larger-than-life performer forever known as Rick James. Against a soundtrack that compels you to get out of your seat from the opening moments, Jenkins approaches his subject not with reverence, but instead with indisputable care as he delves into the circumstances that birthed this one-of-a-kind personality."

The film is comprised rare archival performances, animation, interviews with family and collaborators and recorded conversations with James himself. Plus, the movie takes a surprisingly detailed look at some of Rick James' biggest hits. Harry Weinger, VP of A&R and Production Development, breaks down the likes of hits like "You and I," the iconic "Super Freak," and even some lesser known songs from earlier in his career.

Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James Synopsis

Here's the official synopsis for Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James from Showtime:

BITCHIN' is an intimate yet propulsive look at Rick James, one of rock, funk and R&B's most legendary and often underappreciated figures. Featuring rare footage of James' incredible live shows, never-before-seen home video, original interviews with legendary artists, collaborators and friends, and a treasure trove of recorded interviews with James (who died in 2004), the documentary presents a full picture of James' dramatic rise and fall, focusing in on the "Punk-Funk" music he left behind.

Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James Director, Crew and More

Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James is directed by New York filmmaker Sacha Jenkins, who previously chronicled hip-hop icons in the documentary series Wu-Tang Clan: Of Mics and Men. Jenkins also wrote the documentary along with producer Steve Rivo (who worked with the likes of Morgan Spurlock and Anthony Bourdain) and Jason Pollard, the editor behind films such as The One and Only Dick Gregory and Jenkins' own film Burn Motherf**ker, Burn! from 2017.

Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James Cast

Since this is a documentary, there's not a cast in the conventional sense, but the film features Rick James in archival interviews, as well as talking heads with those who knew him best. Plus, since James collaborated with the likes of Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Nile Rodgers, Eddie Murphy, Teena Marie, The Mary Jane Girls and M.C. Hammer, there are plenty of famous faces who chime in about the legendary artist.

Bitchin': The Sound and Fury of Rick James Trailer