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Slick Rick

Slick Rick performing live at the Fresh Fest concert in Los Angeles, 2009.
Background information
Birth name Richard Walters
Born 14 January 1965 (1965-01-14) (age 45)
London, England
Origin New York City, New York, United States
Genres Old school hip hop
Hip hop
Years active 1982–present
Labels Def Jam, Columbia
Associated acts Doug E. Fresh, Warren G, Nas, Prince Paul, Dana Dane, Snoop Dogg, Outkast, Mos Def

Richard Walters (born 14 January 1965), better known by stage names Slick Rick, MC Ricky D and Rick the Ruler, is a Grammy-nominated British-American rapper.



Originally from South Wimbledon, in Greater London, England, he moved with his family to The Bronx in 1975 where he met Dana Dane, later forming a hip hop duo known as Kangol Crew.[1] Rick's characteristic eyepatch was acquired after being blinded in the right eye by broken glass as an infant. He is best known for a series of rap recordings during the 1980s, including "Hey Young World", "Children's Story" and "La Di Da Di", B-side of Doug E. Fresh single "The Show" (1985). Once he gained a degree of wealth, he earned a reputation for wearing an eyepatch over his right eye, an enormous amount of gold and diamond jewelry, including many large necklaces with giant pendants, bracelets, huge rings on each finger, and a gold tooth.

In 1990, Slick Rick shot a bystander and his cousin whom he had hired as a bodyguard and who later admitted to having Walters shot outside a club. Slick Rick was indicted on two counts of attempted murder and pleaded guilty to all charges which also included assault, use of a firearm, and criminal possession of a weapon. Russell Simmons, head of Def Jam records, bailed him out and Rick quickly recorded The Ruler's Back before spending five years in prison, two for the second degree attempted murder charges he received for that shooting, and three while hassling with Immigrations Services over his residency in the US. In the documentary film, The Show, Russell Simmons interviews Rick while he was a prisoner on Rikers Island.

"La Di Da Di", "Mona Lisa" and "Children's Story" are among his best known songs, with "La Di Da Di" being covered nearly word-for-word by Snoop Dogg on his 1993 album Doggystyle, and lines from "La Di Da Di" being borrowed by multiple high profile artists. "Children's Story" was sampled by Montell Jordan for his 1995 hit, "This Is How We Do It", and Everlast covered it for his album Eat at Whitey's. Eminem also borrowed from the song extensively in his diss song "Can-I-Bitch". "Children's Story" was also covered with similar lyrics by the MC duo Black Star on their 1998 album, Mos Def and Talib Kweli are Black Star, as well as by Tricky on the album Nearly God, with the same name and lyrics, Rapper The Game also did a similar song which was named "Compton Story" he puts on a voice like Slick Rick's throughout the track and tells a story, this rap was on the Mixtape BWS Radio 5 made in 2008. The chorus of Notorious B.I.G.'s song "Hypnotize" also comes from "La Di Da Di".

His third album Behind Bars was released while he was still in prison. It was met with lukewarm sales and reviews. After being released from prison in 1996, he remained with Def Jam and on May 25, 1999 released a fourth album, entitled The Art of Storytelling, generally considered the authentic follow up to his 1988 debut. Storytelling was also an artistically successful comeback that paired him with MCs like Nas, OutKast, Raekwon, and Snoop Dogg, among others.

On October 6, 2008, Rick was honored on the VH1 Hip Hop Honors show.

Personal life

In June 2001, after performing on a Caribbean cruise ship, Rick was arrested by the INS as he re-entered the United States through Florida. He was promptly told that he was being deported because he was a British citizen; since he had been born in London and moved to the States as a youth. In 1996, a law was passed which called for foreigners convicted of violent felonies to be deported, a ruling which was more vigorously enforced amid heightened security concerns after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Rick was continuously refused bail, but after 17 months in prison he was released on November 7, 2003.[2][3]

Rumours suggested that Rick planned to release a new album, "The Adventure Continues," in 2007. However, in a recent XXL Magazine interview, he denied the claim.[4] Rick is supposedly "waiting for a market to open up for a mature audience."

In October 2006, the Department of Homeland Security began a new attempt to deport Walters,[5] moving the case from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit based in New York to the more conservative Eleventh Circuit. The court is based in Atlanta, Georgia but the trial is expected to proceed in Florida, where INS agents originally arrested Walters.

On May 23, 2008, New York Gov. David Paterson granted Slick Rick a full and unconditional pardon on the attempted murder charges.[6] The governor was pleased with his behavior since the mishap. He has volunteered his time to mentor youths about violence.[7]



  • The Ruler's Back
    • Released: July 2, 1991
    • Billboard 200 chart position: #29
    • R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #18
    • Last RIAA Certification: Gold
    • Singles: " A Woman in Love With Other Men", "It's A Boy" & "I Shouldn't Have Done It"
  • Behind Bars
    • Released: November 22, 1994
    • Billboard 200 chart position: #51
    • R&B/Hip-Hop chart position: #11
    • Last RIAA Certification: 350,000
    • Singles: "Behind Bars" & "Sittin' In My Car"


Year Single Chart positions Album
U.S. Hot 100 U.S. R&B U.S. Rap
1988 "Children's Story" - 5 2 The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
"Hey Young World" - 42 17
"Teenage Love" - 16 8
1991 "I Shouldn't Have Done It" - 50 2 The Ruler's Back
"Mistakes of a Woman in Love with Other Men" - - -
"It's a Boy" - - -
1994 "Behind Bars" 87 63 12 Behind Bars
1995 "Sittin' in My Car" - 56 11
1999 "Street Talkin'" - 65 22 The Art of Storytelling

Featured Singles

Year Single Chart positions Album
U.S. Hot 100 U.S. R&B U.S. Rap UK
1996 "I Like" (Montell Jordan featuring Slick Rick) 28 11 - 24 The Nutty Professor soundtrack
1999 "Da Art of Storytellin' (Pt. 1)" (Outkast featuring Slick Rick) - 67 - - Aquemini
2001 "Girls, Girls, Girls" (Jay-Z featuring Slick Rick, Q-Tip & Biz Markie)* 15 4 9 11 The Blueprint
2007 "Hip Hop Police" (Chamillionaire featuring Slick Rick) 101 76 - 50 Ultimate Victory




  1. ^ John Bush. "Slick Rick Biography". allmusic. Macrovision Corporation. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  2. ^ Associated Press (2003-11-04). "Slick Rick regains legal status". Cable News Network LP. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  3. ^ Joseph Patel (2003-11-07). "The Great Adventures Can Resume: Slick Rick Is A Free Man". Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  4. ^ Brendan Frederick (2006-10-23). "Slick Rick Can I Live?". Harris Publications, Inc. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  5. ^ Alexis Jeffries (2006-10-18). "Slick Rick Facing Deportation, Again". Vibe Media Group, Inc. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  6. ^ Associated Press (2008-05-24). "NY governor pardons rapper 'Slick Rick' Walters". Telegraph Herald - Dubuque, Iowa. Retrieved 2008-05-25. 
  7. ^ Associated Press (2008-05-23). "Hip-hop pioneer `Slick Rick' pardoned by N.Y. gov". Yahoo! News.;_ylt=Al1aWxqwW2.usYSy2VnlZg5xFb8C. Retrieved 2008-05-24. 
  8. ^

External links

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