To some of you, he’s simply a name mentioned in an old Snoop Dogg song. To the rest of us, his is the original “Lodi Dodi” a tale of urban romance and betrayel, rife with characters and environments that spoke of the life of the streets. It’s Slick Rick’s penchant for vivid narratives that set him apart in his early career. With lush, evocative lyrics, Rick painted a timely portrait of New York’s gritty undergound, all to rhythm of a burgeoning Hip-Hop culture. Fast-forward to 2014 and Rick’s legacy is alive and well, his most famous works still garnering regular airplay across the globe. While we may be familiar with his music, we are most undoubtedly less familiar with the man. We’ve compiled a few tidbits for you to get to know Rick a little better before his show at Public Works tonight.
Here’s 10 things you should know about Slick Rick aka MC Ricky D aka Rick the Ruler aka Uncle Ricky.
1. Slick Rick was born in a place called South Wimbledon, in South West London, England. He moved to the Bronx, NY, when he was 11.
2. Slick Rick’s eye patch was never a fashion statement, but masked a medical injury. At only 1 years old, he was left blinded in the right eye after a window broke and his eyewas struck by glass.
3. At the High School of Music and Arts this Brit met Dana Dane, who was known to impersonate British accents. They formed the Kangol Crew, though Ricky D ended up shining with Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew
4. After (realistically) being set up and extorted by his own cousin, Slick Rick ended up in an altercation leaving two people shot; a bystander (in the foot!) and his cousin. Changed for second degree attempted murder charges, followed by issues stemming with the Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), he spent 5 years and 12 days in jail.
5. The only label Slick Rick was ever signed to was Def Jam, which explains why Russell Simmons was the one who bailed him out of jail 8 months after initial charges were laid on him. He was also released in 1993, for three months on a work release, but was sent back when the INS got involved.
6. With that being said, Ricky D was a G and released an album while incarcerated, entitled Behind Bars. (And if this didn’t start a trend….)
7. Slick Rick is Grammy-nominated, but not for The Great Adventures of Slick Rick – or in any rap category…or as an artist, for that matter. It came several years after the fact, when Montell Jordan sampled Ricky D for his hit track ‘This is How We Do It.” Considering the sampling, Slick Rick was listed as a writer on the track, therefore, getting credit as Grammy-nominated.
8. If the Ruler could be reincarnated into anyone, he said he’d like to be “somebody holding a position in politics.” (1) Perhaps the most genius answer considering his personal life, next to wanting to come back as say – Jesus.
9. In his whole discography, “A Children’s Story” is his favorite song. Perhaps it’s because he produced it entirely separate from anyone at Def Jam having their hands in it. (Along with “Hey Young World” and “Mona Lisa.”)
10. The INS (now know as the Department of Homeland Security)ain’t shit. They tried to deport Slick Rick, yet again, in 2003. He spent 17 months in an ‘illegal aliens’ jail, after continuously being denied bail. Finally, in 2008, New York Gov. David Patersongranted a full and unconditional pardon., which means, this hip-hop hero is here to stay.