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Five Slick Rick Essentials

April 10, 2014

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As rap legends go, Slick Rick is as unlikely as they come. For your consideration: The London-born, Bronx-bred emcee sports a British accent; his best known song is the adorably titled “Children’s Story;” and, blind in one eye, he made the blinged-out patch a thing in hip-hop fashion.

—from J.D. Swerzenski’s Slick Rick: A cautionary tale of hip-hop and hard knocks

To get you up to speed in time to see Slick Rick knock ‘em out at The Korova (Saturday, April 12, at 8:00 p.m.), watch and listen to these five essential tracks from the “King” himself.


1. “La Di Da Di” – The track that launched it all, one so chock full of ideas that the Notorious B.I.G would need to take just one of its lines to make the hook for “Hypnotiz.” Snoop Dogg just opted to cover it word for word on Doggystyle.


 

2. “The Ruler’s Back” – The track opts for a more traditional braggadocio than his usual narrative style, and proves Rick capable of ruling in either mode. It also features the prophetic line “they’re bitin’ what I’m writin'” which Jay-Z fulfilled when he bit both the title and half the lyrics for The Blueprints opener.


3. “King” – A monster culled from his otherwise so-so second album The Ruler’s Back, “King” is Rick in attack mode, executed with Rakim-worthy versatility.


4. “Hey Young World” – Rick drops the line, “It’s cool to be a dumb dummy and disrespect your mummy,” and it show still sounds cool. That’s greatness.


5. “Frozen” – Could the 80’s legend make modern hip-hop? Obviously, as Rick shows Big Boi how it’s done with some ridiculously charming, singsong verses in this track.


 

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