Rick Wes - Possession (Cover Artwork)

Rick Wes

Possession (1991)


For those of you unfamiliar with Rick Wes, the king of a genre I affectionately label "dance/club shit-pop," let me formally introduce you to one of the most influential and original artists of the early 1990's. Though he is often overshadowed by such amazing acts as C C Music Factory and Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch, Rick Wes himself left an indelible footprint upon the 1990's and both the history and future of music as we know it.

For quite a while I was torn between either writing this review or keeping the powerful, sexual magic (as displayed on the incredibly erotic/sexy front and back covers of Possession) of Rick Wes amongst a few privileged friends and myself. But, inspired by the recent abundance of awesome "non-Punk" albums that have been reviewed on this site I felt obligated to share Rick Wes with the world. (As a side note, I would like to make an appeal to all of the punk rock elite that frequent this site and routinely criticize and crucify both the reviewers and albums reviewed that don't fall into the elitist, and obviously actual, definition of "punk rock." I would like to apologize in advance for violating this sacred punk rock code and contaminating this website with non-punk material. Please don't abuse me too harshly!)

I decided that I should and would share the magic of Rick Wes, the creative genius behind both the classic "Possession" and the brilliantly titled follow-up album "North, South, East, Wes," as a part of my crusade to bring Rick Wes' cds back into print and allow Rick to be properly identified as one of the true legends in musical history, a spot that he undoubtedly deserves. One listen to "Possession" and any listener will attest to this lofty distinction. Unfortunately I feel unable to provide an accurate description of Rick's music to the general public, both because of my lack of knowledge of technical musical terms and the fact that I have never listened to more than 45 seconds of any song off this cd. I doubt anyone ever has listened to more than 45 seconds of any given Rick Wes song and I would dare anyone to try to accomplish this feat. In fact, I would not doubt that I am the sole owner of Rick Wes' "Possession." Nor would I be surprised if I found out that this whole cd was in fact created by some kid in his basement as part of a horrible but hilarious joke gone too far. Would I be surprised if I found out that Rick Wes was actually mentally handicapped, something that his music, lyrics, and ridiculous and completely unattractive poses seem to indicate? Fuck no. Should any human being as hideous as Rick Wes ever be caught posing for anything, much less a cd cover? I won't even answer that question.

Sorry, I went off on another tangent. But now I will try my best to describe Rick's music. To me, all of his music sounds like really bad, cheesy 80's music combined with the sound effects from my 1990 Radio Shack keyboard. The worst, or maybe best (and definitely funniest) part of his music is his repeated use of the strangest, most inappropriate noise I have ever heard. It is a sound that he uses whenever his music is about to change tempo or beat, and the best way I can describe it is a "dropping-in" noise. Try pronouncing this, but really exaggerate it: "wwweeeeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyoooooooooooooooo." I swear, this noise or some close derivative is in at least five of the ten songs on "Possession," and they usually appear multiple times throughout the songs. His voice usually always sounds like that of a pedophile, and sometimes an overweight, heavily sedated pedophile. After one look at this cd I can honestly say that I would never let my children be in the same zip code as this guy; one listen and I swear this guy should be in jail, if simply for criminal intent. Rick Wes loves to sing about love, but it is painfully obvious that the only love he has ever experienced comes from himself, the Internet, and probably a huge collection of stuffed animals and posters.

The hardest part of this review was the scoring, and I debated what score I should award this album for nearly an hour, wavering between either a one or ten. Though I finally decided on a one, a number hardly low enough to describe the complete and utter shittiness of this cd, I could have just as easily given the cd a ten if I was basing the score on pure entertainment value. I'll never forget the moment, maybe 30 minutes after I purchased "Possession" for 25 cents at a sidewalk sale at a nearby record store, when as a group of five guys driving home in my friend's Geo Tracker we became witness to the most pathetic but ultimately also the most laughable excuse for music we had ever heard. To this day, that moment ranks, as a consensus, among the top five funniest moments in our history as friends.

I have a friend who purchased Pivit's "Pressure" for 25 cents at this same sale and though he claims to have gotten the better deal I know in my heart that my Possession was the single greatest purchase of the day, and maybe in the history of cd buying. Is there a moral to this story? Not really. But if I had to give a quasi-moral I would say follow your heart, no matter if it leads you "North, South, East, (or) Wes."