In 1996 the late Rick James had not long been released from prison for the crack pipe/hostage charge. You can kinda tell by looking at this picture that he had been clean for a while then all hell broke lose again a couple of years later (second pic). This was at an event for Erykah Badu at the House of Blues in Hollywood. Even though we are from the same hometown (Buffalo, New York) and my sister used to date his late bodyguard, I had never met Rick until 96. He was very humble, down to earth and laid back. You could tell he felt lost in the “new” Hollywood and that he was adjusting. Rick was one of those sad cases of a celebrity who didn’t parlay their original talent into something else (Will Smith) and in the end he lost his battle to drugs again… I hear that he was buried in Buffalo next to his mother.