Slick Rick earned the title as Hip-Hop's greatest storyteller long ago.
It wasn't just his stories that were dope, but the way he delivered them, changing his voice and cadence for every character, and adding harmonizing, singing and sometimes x-rated humor that catapulted him to the top. Throughout four studio albums, Rick has provided stories that range from biblical to cautionary, and even reflective.
Here we present Slick Rick's 5 Best Stories. Check out Slick Rick live at this years Rock The Bells Festival at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY.
In the summer of 1985, Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew dropped one of rap's most power packed singles with "The Show"/"La Di Da Di." The combination of Doug's beatboxing, Chill Will & Barry Bee's cuts, and Rick's voice, cadence, and storytelling set off a new era and created legions of copycats.
"La Di Da Di," Rick's story of a day in his life, included waking up and having a conversation with his mirror, getting dressed and running into an old girlfriend. Rick's hilarious storytelling, punctuated in his British accent, created one of Hip-Hop's favorite songs that has been remade and imitated ever since its debut almost 40 years ago.
On Slick Rick's sophomore album, The Ruler's Back, he tells the biblical story of the prophet Moses, like only he can with accuracy, humor and style: "Once a prophet was to be born, so for anything else fevered/ pharaoh orders, every first born son murdered/one got away, a girl prophet bound with her/ gently put him in a basket, went floatin' down the river/ then hands up by a pharaoh relative, or honey peep in/ couldn't greet herself, once determined to keep him/ don't say a word, she told this slave, who was a real witch/ snitch, it'll definitely be the last day you breathe bitch / wild kids slaughtered, 'cause they was fronted them/ soldiers tellin' the kid that they murdered every one of them/ thanks said Pharaoh, guys little friend tip/ sister showin' her baby sayin' her River God sent it/ to a brother who arose and said, whoa sis cure as I suppose this, the upward knows about Moses."
"The Moment I Feared" appeared on Rick's critically acclaimed and classic debut full length album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick. "The Moment I Feared" is the tale of Rick smoking a blunt on his lunch break and going to the famed Latin Quarter nightclub to see Boogie Down Productions later that day. At the show, Rick gets robbed for his jewels and takes the train home. Rick runs into Danny Boy and his girlfriend Sarah, who seduces Rick. Danny Boy catches Rick and Sarah, and Rick has to murder them both. An interesting enough story on its own, but Rick's execution and delivery make it one of his best.
From 1988's The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, "Mona Lisa" finds Rick in a pizza shop where he encounters an 18 year-old young lady who calls herself Mona Lisa. Rick offers to buy her a slice before Mona accuses Rick of being a thief after catching a glimpse of his gold grill. The genius of Rick voicing multiple characters and adjusting his vocal tone and cadence to fit each is on full display on "Mona Lisa." In his trademark style, Rick sings the hook of "Walk On By" at the end of the story.
"Children's Story" is Rick's most successful song and one of his most detailed stories. A cautionary tale that mirrors real events in Ricks life at the time, "Children's Story" is the tale of a kid that takes the wrong path in life and ultimately loses his life at the age of 17 in a confrontation with the police. "Children's Story" is among Rick's most sampled songs, and was a top 5 hit on both the Billboard Hot R&B and Hot Rap charts.