Stokley of Mint Condition Cast As Rick James in Super Freak: The Rick James Story

Stokley Williams (“Stokley”), the Grammy-nominated lead singer of Mint Condition, will play Rick James in the Je’Caryous Johnson and Ty James production of Super Freak: The Rick James Story. Ty is the daughter of Rick James. 

We spoke with the singer Stokley, known for music hits like “What Kind of Man Would I Be,” at Off The Record,listening bar steeped in music history in downtown Houston. Stokely, in wardrobe, entered the venue, taking on James’s persona in appearance and performing the song Bustin’ Out, complete with long locks, green leather pants, and boots to give the invite-only audience a sneak peek into what theater-goers can expect from the live show in March.

Stokley a multi-instrumentalist like James shared why he welcomed portraying the music legend.

“He was a part of my childhood, my soundtrack (roller skating to “You and I”). There is nobody like him. To play him, I had to embody his essence and his spirit. He is one and one.” Stokley adds, “With musicians, there is a certain language that’s spoken. When you know, you know, playing this role is a Godsend. Of course, there were the learning curves, the dialogue, and (getting down the exact) singing and dancing like Rick James, but it has been an amazing opportunity.”

Stokley of Mint Condition Cast As Rick James in Super Freak: The Rick James Story
Stokley as Rick James at Off The Record, Houston, TX., Feb. 29, 2024 BSM Magazine/Courtesy


The backdrop: “The stage bursts to life in the gritty streets in Buffalo, NY,” where the King of Punk Funk, whose real name was James Ambrose Johnson Jr., was born and raised.

Je’Caryous, the supreme writer-director-producer-playwright of award-winning plays like “Set it Off” and “New Jack City,” spoke more about the man beyond the eccentric outfits and glittery laced skin in what he believes theater-goers will enjoy about the musical.

“To me, Rick was so iconic. This is a wonderful moment for us. To be able to tell the story of Rick James. The beautiful thing about this is I don’t think people understand the brevity and the breath of this musical genius. It is called Super Freak: The Rick James Story, but it’s really about him being a super freaking genius and the musical journey of his genius and the amount of genres that he’s gone through. I think you’re going to be presently surprised to just understand the versitality and the sheer talent of this human being. He was amazing! I know people sometimes— when they hear of Rick James, it was sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll, well this is going to be the story that is going to tell you that sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll is a very small piece to this man, who was just the most incredible, dynamic and forward-thinking talent that has ever come around” (in our music history).

Ty says of her father, “This project is a labor of love and a tribute to my father’s extraordinary life.” Her enthusiasm for the production is instrumental to what she knows both “preserves and promotes her father’s musical legacy.”

Johnson summed up the time by saying it is his “personal mission to cement the legacy of not only those who’ve passed but for some of us that are present.”

An impressive performance by Dwayne Cook Jr., who is Lionel Ritchie in the musical and sang Ritchie’s feel-good anthem song “All Night Long,” rounded out the musical preview.

With Stokley’s spot-on sound of James and the backing of a talented cast, theater-goers can expect a good time as old fans revisit and new ones discover the musical genius that is Mr. Rick James.


Stokley of Mint Condition Cast As Rick James in Super Freak: The Rick James Story
Second Row: Dwayne Cook Jr., Je’Caryous Johnson, Ty James, and the cast of Super Freak: The Rick James Story at Off The Record. Houston, TX., Feb. 29, 2024. Third from (l), Ty James, daughter of Rick James


Watch Stokley in the New Musical Super Freak: The Rick James Story that Debuts in Houston, TX, March 14-17.

See Tour Schedule for remaining cities and dates



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