Born on 14 January 1965, Richard Martin Lloyd Walters, aka Slick Rick, unequivocally holds the title of hip-hop’s biggest storyteller. Not like any MCs earlier than or after him, Slick Rick was a brand new breed of rapper. Along with his humorous narratives, melodic flows, trademark eyepatch and distinctive British accent, the perfect Slick Rick songs shall be endlessly synonymous with hip-hop’s first golden period.
After dropping his basic debut album, The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick , in 1988, the British-born, Bronx-bred artist adopted it up with The Ruler’s Again (1991), Behind Bars (1994) and The Art Of Storytelling (1999). Together with offering quite a few visitor options and being one of the sampled artists in hip-hop historical past, Slick Rick is among the true innovators of hip-hop tradition. He’s influenced Snoop Dogg, Nas, Infamous BIG, Jay-Z, OutKast, Ghostface Killah and a number of others – all of whom have paid tribute to The Ruler.
So listed below are the perfect Slick Rick songs which have constructed the legend. Suppose we’ve missed any of yours? Tell us within the feedback part, beneath.
Greatest Slick Rick Songs: 20 Important Tracks From Hip-Hop’s Biggest Storyteller
20: ‘Women, Women, Women’ (Jay-Z, that includes Q-Tip, Slick Rick and Biz Markie)
Slick Rick’s affect might be seen and heard all through the historical past of hip-hop, so it was becoming that Jay-Z enlisted The Ruler to carry out the hook on his basic ode to the women, ‘Women, Women, Women’, from The Blueprint. Together with Q-Tip and Biz Markie, Rick introduced his easy move and equipped the refrain on one in every of Jay-Z’s most well-known hits, serving to it peak at No.17 on the Billboard 100.
19: ‘Let’s All Get Down’ (that includes Good & Easy)
A match made in hip-hop heaven, Slick Rick collaborated with the legendary duo Good & Easy on ‘Let’s All Get Down’, an underrated gem from his third album, Behind Bars. The trio sound unbelievable collectively over a minimalist, gritty drum monitor produced by Greg Good. It represents 90s New York hip-hop at its most interesting and stays among the best Slick Rick songs.
18: ‘Sittin’ In My Automotive’ (that includes Doug E Recent)
Additionally from Behind Bars, ‘Sittin’ In My Automotive’ was the primary collaboration between Slick Rick and Doug E Recent since 1985’s basic ‘The Present’/‘La-Di-Da-Di’. Remaking Billy Stewart’s ‘Sitting In The Park’, Rick sings the refrain and rhymes on one other sensible story, with Doug E Recent helping on beatbox.
17: ‘Simply One other Case’ (Cru, that includes Slick Rick)
South Bronx trio and one-album surprise Cru not solely paid homage by sampling Slick Rick’s lyrics for the refrain of ‘Simply One other Case’, however they enlisted The Ruler for a visitor verse on the monitor. Borrowing the hook from ‘Kids’s Story’, ‘Simply One other Case’ helped to introduce the hip-hop icon to a brand new technology of followers after the one went to No.68 on the Billboard Sizzling 100 and No.eight on the Sizzling Rap Singles chart.
16: ‘Behind Bars (Dum Ditty Dum Remix)’
Whereas the album model of ‘Behind Bars’ was exemplary, that includes manufacturing by the one and solely Prince Paul, the remix, produced by fellow Def Jam labelmate Warren G, is a slept-on banger as nicely. An early instance of East and West Coast collaborations, the monitor discovered Rick and Warren G fusing the California G-Funk and New York boom-bap sounds.
15: ‘We’re Unified (Observe Masters Remix)’ (Child Capri, that includes Snoop Dogg and Slick Rick)
With out query, Snoop Dogg’s laidback, melodic flows had been impressed by the perfect Slick Rick songs – The Ruler influenced Snoop a lot that the latter lined the basic ‘La-Di-Da-Di’ on his debut album, Doggystyle. When the 2 lastly linked for a duet, the outcomes had been historic. From Child Capri’s Soundtrack To The Streets compilation, Slick Rick and Snoop Dogg commerce bars on ‘We’re Unified (Observe Masters Remix)’. The chemistry between the 2 is simple, because the trainer and his star pupil create a basic.
14: ‘The Second I Feared’
With so many gems on The Nice Adventures Of Slick Rick, every of the album’s 12 tracks may have featured on this listing of the perfect Slick Rick songs. ‘The Second I Feared’ is one other instance of Rick giving a masterclass in storytelling. From confrontations within the streets, to hanging out within the legendary Latin Quarter and all of the drama that inevitably goes down, it’s all right here in vivid element.
13: ‘Auditorium’ (Mos Def, that includes Slick Rick)
What do you get while you mix two of hip-hop’s most revered, enigmatic MCs on one monitor? A jewel of a collaboration, that’s what. Produced by the grasp himself, Madlib, ‘Auditorium’ options two of the perfect within the sport buying and selling verses over some beautiful beats. The mix of Yasiin Bey and Rick produced among the best hip-hop collaborations of the 00s and among the best Slick Rick songs of all time.
12: ‘Da Artwork Of Storytellin’ (Pt.1)’ (OutKast, that includes Slick Rick)
On OutKast’s basic Aquemini album, André 3000 and Large Boi already had an unbelievable monitor, however they summoned Slick Rick to contribute a visitor verse after the music was remixed and launched as a single. ‘Da Artwork Of Storytellin’ (Pt 1)’ sees the MCs element private relationships, every one providing a brand new narrative perspective and displaying the throughline that linked these two generations of rappers.
11: ‘I Personal America, Half 1’
‘I Personal America’ floated round on mixtapes earlier than finally winding up on The Artwork Of Storytelling album. Exhibiting infinite quantities of hubris in true Slick Rick trend, it options a few of his most immodest rhymes. He even addresses his deportation points when he raps, “And even when I obtained deported, I personal America.” The Ruler was again once more.
10: ‘I Shouldn’t Have Performed It’
‘I Shouldn’t Have Performed It’ was the primary single launched from Slick Rick’s sophomore album, The Ruler’s Again. With manufacturing from Vance Wright, Rick’s assured, nonchalant model merged extraordinarily nicely with the New Jack Swing sound that was taking up the golf equipment and the charts in the course of the early 90s. A dance favorite utilising a number of James Brown samples, ‘I Shouldn’t Have Performed It’ tells the story of Slick Rick regretting an affair that results in a tragic conclusion.
9: ‘Lick The Balls’
Regardless of its provocative title, this Nice Adventures… monitor captures Rick internet hosting a clinic on MCing. Produced by Public Enemy’s Bomb Squad, the one stays a favorite of die-hard Slick Rick followers. Whereas a lot of Rick’s legacy centres on his tales of knowledge (‘Kids’s Story’), his debut album nonetheless had a couple of cruder cuts.
eight: ‘The Ruler’s Again’
‘The Ruler’s Again’ was each an introduction to and coronation of his royal highness to the throne of hip-hop – its jazzy horns had been the right complement for Rick’s easy move about his plans to reign over the competitors. The monitor was so influential that Jay-Z remade it on his basic Blueprint album. From one king to a different.
7: ‘Avenue Talkin’’ (with Large Boi)
After Rick guested on OutKast’s ‘Da Artwork Of Storytellin’ (Pt.1)’, Large Boi returned the favour by leaping on the primary single from Rick’s The Artwork Of Storytelling. Rick’s laidback model mixed with Large Boi’s rapid-fire supply was a continuation of the chemistry they shared on their earlier collaboration. Sounding reinvigorated on what was his first single in over 5 years, ‘Avenue Talkin’’ is among the finest Slick Rick songs.
6: ‘Teenage Love’
As the primary single from The Nice Adventures Of Slick Rick, ‘Teenage Love’ was a reflective monitor in regards to the ups and downs of relationships. Tapping into the burgeoning rap ballads subgenre, ‘Teenage Love’ turned successful, making it to No.eight on the Sizzling Rap Singles chart. Rick even sings the refrain of Diana Ross’ ‘Theme From Mahogany (Do You Know?)’ on the monitor, creating an early protype of in the present day’s sung-rap vocal model. ‘Teenage Love’ additionally goes down in hip-hop historical past thanks to 2 cameos within the video: Brooklynites Large Daddy Kane and a then-unknown Lil’ Kim.
5: ‘Hey Younger World’
The third single from The Nice Adventures Of Slick Rick, and produced by Rick himself, ‘Hey Younger World’ is an aspirational music on which The Ruler shares his knowledge with the youth of America. By no means preachy, it’s a street-savvy anthem that advises the following technology on
making higher selections, respecting their mother and father and never “following the dopes”, within the suave manner that solely Rick may pull off. Probably the greatest Slick Rick songs, ‘Hey Younger World’ has been remade and sampled a number of occasions over.
four: ‘Mona Lisa’
What many take into account to be among the best tracks from The Nice Adventures Of Slick Rick, ‘Mona Lisa’ was by no means launched as a single, but it surely could possibly be heard blasting out of each automobile stereo, membership speaker and block-party boombox when the album dropped in 1988. In true Slick Rick narrative trend, he chronicles his encounter with a younger girl at a pizza store whereas referencing Nat “King” Cole’s well-known tune, turning it into a typical of his personal.
three: ‘The Present’ (Doug E Recent & The Get Recent Crew)
Relating to the perfect Slick Rick songs of all time, ‘The Present’ positively earns its spot. With an unforgettable pattern of the theme tune to the 80s cartoon Inspector Gadget, Doug E Recent and Slick Rick launched a basic that modified the face of hip-hop tradition. Their back-and-forth banter introduced the reside efficiency ingredient of hip-hop to radio, all whereas placing the 2 MCs on the map. In case you discover some components of New Jack Swing within the manufacturing, it’s as a result of a 15-year outdated producing genius named Teddy Riley crafted the monitor’s sound.
2: ‘Kids’s Story’
“Dave, the dope fiend shootin’ dope/Who don’t know the that means of water nor cleaning soap” are a number of the most recognisable lyrics in hip-hop historical past, and ‘Kids’s Story’ is the blueprint for narrative storytelling in hip-hop. A cautionary story of cops, robbers and dope boys, Rick masterfully raps in regards to the penalties of succumbing to the temptations of road life. ‘Kids’s Story’ went on to be a High 5 hit on each the Sizzling R&B Singles and the Sizzling Rap Tracks charts, and stays among the best Slick Rick songs of all time. Capturing Rick at a inventive peak, it’s additionally one of the sampled hip-hop songs in historical past.
Slick is among the uncommon artists whose first recorded music grow to be an immediate basic. Arguably the best B-side in hip-hop, ‘La-Di-Da-Di’ is Slick Rick’s first solo monitor – and he knocked it out of the park. After Doug E Recent recruited him for The Get Recent Crew’s ‘The Present’, the dynamic duo traded verses to create hip-hop gold. On ‘La-Di-Da-Di’, nonetheless, MC Ricky D rhymes solo over Recent’s well-known beatboxing. The remainder is historical past.
Slick has so many quotable one-liners in ‘La-Di-Da-Di’ – it’s one of many most-referenced songs in hip-hop, and only a trace of the greatness that might come. From Biggie to Beyoncé, Kanye West to Miley Cyrus, a whole bunch of musicians have referenced his rallying cry: “To the tick tock, you don’t cease.” Acknowledging the music’s lasting affect, Rock and Doug E Recent reunited for a reside model that was included as a bonus monitor on Rick’ 1999 album, The Artwork Of Storytelling.
Searching for extra? Learn our exclusive interview with Slick Rick.