Slick Rick The Ruler’s seminal album, 1988’s The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick, turned 30 on November 1. In honor of the momentous occasion, the British-bred Hip Hop legend spoke to Beats 1 Radio about the milestone, his penchant for over-the-top jewelry and what it means to the culture.
“As far as the jewelry aspect of the Hip Hop game, when we was growing up in the ’80s, it was a thing,” he said. “It was the norm. It was a norm in the segregated environment that we mostly came from. That’s what gave us our mark, our difference. It was like, let’s just say a Ford, Apache, Broncos, something. Everybody was in lower income, this is how we moved. I guess it was a mark of swag, a mark of wealth or whatever the case.
“When Hip Hop came around, it was bound to come together like that. It’s like the ghetto meets music or something. We brought our style with us to the music industry, so when we came, we came with the jewels. Back in those days, biggest heroes had the biggest joints on. Biggest joints, biggest ice, biggest everything. They don’t gotta say how they got this money, but it was still like they were dinosaurs compared to like, little peasants.”
As one of Hip Hop’s greatest storytellers, Slick helped lay the foundation for many of his successors. Unsurprisingly, he names his classic, “Children’s Story,” as his favorite storytelling track.
“On my album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, my favorite storytelling track I would have to say would have to be, I guess ‘Children’s Story’ because everyone likes it,” he admitted. “It has a nice beat. The ‘Moment I Feared,’ I like, too. I have to remake it, give it a little more oomph, you know? But yeah, I’ll stick with ‘Children’s Story.’”
Despite the decades Slick has put into the culture, he’s not anywhere close to putting down the mic. Most recently, he popped up in French Montana’s “No Stylist” video and released a remastered version of The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, which came with his first original song since 1999, “Snakes of the World Today.”
By the sounds of it, he has more coming down the pipeline.
“What’s happening with Slick Rick, things happening around Slick Rick on the 30th anniversary of The Great Adventures of Slick Rick is, well we’re going to drop some new joints, drop some new singles for the peeps yanno what I mean?” he said. “Kick the fashion on, the glitz, the glam all that stuff. Probably some new videos, pop-up shops this and that, you know what I mean?
“Whatever keeps our interest, whatever piques our modern day interests at full peak, you know what I mean? So keep your eyes open.”
In the meantime, listen to “Snakes of the World Today” below.