Slick Rick was one of hip-first hop’s great storytellers, and his seamless charm and profound lyrical ideas cemented his status as a god-like figure in the genre’s development. The Bronx rapper, who rose to prominence during hip-golden hop’s period, is widely regarded as one of the best and most influential rappers of all time, bringing to the embryonic art form not just exceptional talent, but also a distinct sense of style and execution.
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Richard Walters (born 14 January 1965), better known by his stage name Slick Rick, is a Jamaican-born British rapper. Rick the Ruler and MC Ricky D were some of his other aliases. He is also recognized for performing with an eye patch after being blinded in his right eye as a child due to broken glass. He moved to the Bronx with his family in the late 1970s and enrolled at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art.
In 1984, he met Doug E. Fresh and became a member of his Get Fresh Crew. His stage name was MC Ricky D, and he was featured on the songs “The Show” and “La Di Da Di.” In 1988, he went solo and released his album, ‘The Great Adventures of Slick Rick.’ Songs like ‘Children’s Story’ and ‘Teenage Love,’ which featured Slick Rick’s relaxed flow and delivery of rhymes with a unique British accent, attracted further notice. On Billboard’s R&B/Hip Hop chart, it reached No. 1. The album went on to sell over a million copies and become known as a classic rap album, but it wasn’t an immediate hit when it was released.
A cousin used a gun’s incident at a bar to set up Walters in 1990, with his music blasting onto the humid Manhattan streets. He was charged with two charges of attempted murder and sentenced to five years in prison, according to reports. Slick Rick’s detention garnered international headlines, and he was sentenced to five years on the infamous Rikers Island. While he was out on bail, he released his second album.
His third album, 1994’s Behind Bars, was produced while he was on a work release program, but it received mixed reviews. Rick was released from prison in 1997 and began work on his comeback album, which was released in 1999.
‘The Art of Storytelling,’ his fourth and most current album, was published in 1999. Nas, Snoop Dogg, Redman, and OutKast were among the guests on the epic album. These rappers had been following in Slick Rick’s footsteps. The record was co-produced by DJ Clark Kent and Kid Capri. It was his most popular album, reaching No. 8 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Life as an Immigrant in the USA
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INS officers apprehended the rapper and took him to a prison as he was playing live on a Florida cruise ship in the summer of 2002. Despite the fact that the group had tried unsuccessfully to deport Rick since 1991, they were ultimately successful in convincing the Board of Immigration Appeals to rule in his favor and send him back to England. The matter was made even more difficult by the INS’s determination on deporting the rapper, despite the absurd circumstances surrounding the situation. Rick’s deportation was justified on the basis of a technicality: he was born in England.
His parents had lived in London because of their employment, and when he was 11 years old, they emigrated to the United States. Because of his young age when he was relocated, he had never bothered to alter his citizenship. His wife, children, and parents are all citizens of the United States of America.
Inspiring the New Generation of Rappers
Slick Rick received widespread acclaim and would go on to influence musicians such as Nas. His song is like a breath of fresh air filled with joy. His recordings encapsulate the ambiance of the era, with ‘Children’s Story’ proving to be a perennial favorite. Everyone from Eminem and Dr. Dre to Everlast, Tricky, and Ol’ Dirty Bastard has sampled and altered it. ‘Hey Young World,’ a delicious slab of funk that prompted Macy Gray to write her own version, is also an exceptional piece of work.
Starting with ‘Jail Skit’ and ‘KillNiggaz,’ The Art of Storytelling takes a semi-conceptual journey through hip hop history before branching out into an overview of American street culture. This album follows in the footsteps of The Last Poets and Gil Scott-Heron. OutKast’s Big Boi features on ‘Street Talkin,’ Snoop Dogg appears on ‘Unify,’ and Nas and Canibus add his abilities. This is a fantastic album in any genre, but particularly top Hip-Hop, that fully deserves all of the 5-star reviews it earned at the time, and it now sounds fresh and vital.
Other Notable Works
He was awarded on VH1’s Hip Hop Honors program in 2008. In 2011, he was the subject of the documentary ‘Rhyme and Punishment,’ which chronicled his time in prison. The film demonstrated how rap music and hip hop have always been influenced by crime and violence.
His most well-known songs, such as ‘La Di Da Di’ and ‘Children’s Story,’ have been performed by a variety of artists, including Snoop Dogg and Notorious B.I.G., and he rose to prominence as a fashion icon. He was noted for his colorful wearing style during his early years. He wore many gold chains, as well as gold and diamonds on his eye patch and teeth. With time, he softened his approach.
Walter obtained US citizenship in 2016, yet he is still a British citizen. The Mixx Cares Humanitarian Award was given to him the same year.
Slick Rick was a god-like figure in the creation of hip-hop because of his easy charisma and insightful lyrical insights. The rapper established himself as an enigmatic emcee inspiring today’s new wave of musicians, approaching the emerging art form of hip-hop with not only distinctive talent but also a distinct sense of style and presentation. Indeed, one of the most significant rapper of all time.