<p>Rick James had a unique negotiation style...</p>

Rick James had a unique negotiation style...

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A new documentary claims that Rick James doing coke in an office while waving his penis around, in a roundabout way, really helped Lionel Ritchie’s career. Stick with us on this...

Director Sacha Jenkins’s new documentary Bitchin’:The Sound and Fury of Rick James - which premiered at the Tribeca film festival this week - is adding vivid new details to the life of the mega star.

According to one anecdote from James’s former manager Kevin Gordy, the coke and penis incident occurred in 1982. James was frustrated with the low sales of his album Throwin’ Down, as well as the lack of excitement for its accompanying tour.

Gordy, whose father was Motown Records founder Barry Gordy, recalls that James went to Motown Records president Jay Lasker’s office directly to deliver his next LP.

But instead of just dropping it off, Gordy says James then expressed his frustration with the label by pouring coke on Lasker’s desk, snorting it, jump on the coke-covered desk, and took out his penis to shove in Lasker’s face. Gordy recalls James yelling “Sell my goddam record” during all of this.

Unbeknownst to James, Lasker had exactly two words for his team following the harrowing incident. After the funk legend left the office, Lasker simply said “Lionel Richie.”

Per Gordy, this was meant to say that the label would focus on Richie instead now, leaving James’s career effectively changed forever. Richie would take off, achieving immense success.

The film, which delivers “rare archival performances, animation, interviews with family and collaborators and recorded conversations with James himself” will be available to stream at home on Wednesday night at 6pm EST.

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