Now in his 40s, British-born rapper Slick Rick has spent nearly half his life battling MCs, criminal charges, monocular vision, and deportation.
Like a fortune teller, the rapper titled his 1988 masterpiece The Great Adventures of Slick Rick two years before his real troubles began: an attempted murder charge, followed by five years at Rikers. Yet none of those obstacles could stop Rick the Ruler from persevering. Immediately after Russell Simmons bailed him out of prison, the rapper released The Ruler's Back. And a few years later, he dropped Behind Bars, recorded while — you guessed it — behind bars.
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The hip-hop world is indebted to Rick because his unique narrative-rapping style has influenced countless rappers such as Biggie, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and Outkast. Joined by fellow golden-era stalwarts Naughty By Nature, EPMD, and Das EFX, the eyepatch-donning, storytelling MC will lead a rare gathering of lyrical legends this Saturday.