The first music videos Rick James made were for "Give It To Me Baby" and "Super Freak
." Both were directed by Nick Saxton, who had done Michael Jackson's "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
" - he was one of only a handful of Americans with experience directing music videos.
The "Give It To Me Baby" video is surprisingly literal, showing James making his play in the bedroom. It was not to be taken seriously. Saxton told Billboard
: "The song is a sexy song and I think we treated it in a humorous way."
By the time MTV launched on August 1, 1981, the song had already spent five weeks at #1 on the R&B chart and had recently peaked on the Pop chart, but there was no way it was getting airplay on the network, which fancied itself a rock channel and played almost nothing from black artists. "Super Freak" had a better chance of getting some spins, but MTV rejected that one too.