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Slick Rick Biography

Slick Rick Biography

Richard Walters (born January 14, 1965), better known by stage names Slick Rick, MC Ricky D and Rick the Ruler, is a rapper. Originally from South Wimbledon, London, England, he moved with his family to The Bronx in 1975 where he met B-Weezy who taught him how to rap. Rick's characteristic eyepatch was acquired after being blinded in the right eye by broken glass as an infant. In a VH1 special, it was revealed the broken glass was caused during a holiday dinner gunfight. He is best known for a series of rap recordings during the 1980s, including "Children's Story" and "La Di Da Di". Once he gained a degree of wealth, he earned a reputation for wearing 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.

Charlie Rock of Harlem World crew was instrumental in bringing Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh together when Doug requested an introduction after he had seen him win local MC battle contests. It was at an MC contest at the 369 Armory on 142nd street in Harlem, given by promotion partners Ray Chandler & Charlie Rock, that Rick & Doug were formally introduced by Rock. Rick was also part of the "Kangol Crew" which included fellow rapper, Dana Dane.

Slick Rick released the song "La Di Da Di" in 1985 which features Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew. His first album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick was released in 1988 while he was living in Brooklyn. "Children's Story", which appears on The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, is one of the most famous songs in rap and has been covered by Black Star, Black Rob, Everlast, Messy Marv, Tricky's side project Nearly God, and, Snoop Doggy Dogg. "Children's Story" was also featured on the videogame Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas on Playback FM, a classic hip-hop station. The album attained platinum status, but Rick was unable to exploit this due to an arrest for attempted murder.

He shot a bystander and his cousin whom he’d hired as a body guard and who later admitted to having Walters shot outside a club in 1991. Slick Rick was indicted on 2 counts of attempted murder and pled 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 documentry 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 Black Star did a cover of it on their debut album. Eminem also borrowed from the song extensively in his diss song "Can-I-Bitch".

A third album Behind Bars was recorded whilst still in prison, and released to lukewarm sales and reviews. Released from prison in 1998, 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 MC's like Nas, OutKast, Raekwon, and Snoop Dogg, among others.

In June 2002, 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 is 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.

Rumors 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. Rick is supposedly "waiting for a market to open up for a [more] mature audience".

In October 2006, the Department of Homeland Security began a new attempt to deport Walters, 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.

He has two children, Lateisha and Ricky, from two different mothers. He currently resides in the Bronx and lives with his son Ricky.


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