When it comes to the art storytelling in hip-hop, Slick Rick is regarded as the godfather and master the craft.
Born in London and blinded in the right eye by broken glass as a child, Slick Rick and his family would move to the Bronx, where he would attend high school and begin his foray into hip-hop after meeting classmate and future rap artist Dana Dane. But he'd get his big break after joining Doug E. Fresh's Get Fresh Crew in 1985.
Appearing alongside Doug E. Fresh on the 1985 singles "The Show" and "La Di Da Di," Slick Rick generated a buzz as one the more dynamic new rappers in hip-hop and caught the attention Russell Simmons, who inked the Brit to a record deal with Def Jam Records in 1986.
Two years later, Slick Rick's debut album, The Great Adventures Slick Rick, was released, catapulting him to the forefront rap and establishing him as one the more popular artists in the game. Boasting the hit singles "Children's Story", "Hey Young World", and "Teenage Love," The Great Adventures Slick Rick topped the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and ended 1988 as one the more commercially successful and acclaimed albums the year.
However, Slick Rick's career would hit a snag in 1991 after the rapper pleaded guilty to two counts attempted murder, assault, use a firearm, and criminal possession a weapon after shooting his former bodyguard, resulting in a five year prison sentence.
Released from prison in 1997, Slick Rick released the comeback album, The Art Storytelling, in 1999, which was his last full-length release before he became embroiled in a lengthy legal battle with the Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding his citizenship. In spite the ups and downs, Slick Rick's influence on hip-hop is invaluable and his status as one the greatest and biggest rap stars his era is without reproach.
In celebration one the greatest storytellers all-time, The Boombox looks back at some the fictional characters from Slick Rick's raps that have proved to be unforgettable.