DAR Classic Hip Hop: Slick Rick’s The Great Adventures of Slick Rick

1. Treat Her Like a Prostitute
2. The Ruler’s Back 
3. Children's Story
4. The Moment I Feared 
5. Let's Get Crazy 
6. Indian's Girl (An Adult Story)
7. Teenage Love
8. Mona Lisa 
9. Kit (What's the Scoop)
10. Hey Young World 
11. Teacher Teacher 
12. Lick the Balls 

Intro By @ambulanceley 
From the moment Slick Rick says, "Excuse me can I have your attention/There's just a few things I got to mention/", on the album opener "Treat Her like a Prostitute", he has it til the very last word on "Lick The Balls". The Great Adventures of Slick Rick had me captivated all the way through. The Great Adventures of Slick Rick set the standards for storytelling rap, with tracks like "Children's Story" that put you into a different world completely and show off Rick's verbal prowess as the best storyteller of the 80's or all time in general. Slick Rick didn't just compose raps, he crafted full on stories with complete narrative arcs, rich characters and, barring his lapses into misogyny, a strong sense of morality. If the test of great literature is its ability to the reader and immerse him or her in a world not their own, then the Great Adventures is truly great literature. Slick Rick has been sampled, quoted and interpolated into more songs than just about any artist in rap history. He's been sampled by everyone from Nas to Goodie Mob to Jay Z to Montell Jordan. He's been covered by Snoop Dogg and BlackStar, and if I were to list all the rappers who have alluded to his lyrics or dropped a direct Slick Rick quote, I'd have to list damn near all of the rappers. Like, all the rappers ever. Simple as that.

By @1natethegreat4 

I met Slick Rick himself when I was a sophomore in high school. I was able to hear the seniority in his voice and he’s an inspirational dude. He talked about his rise to becoming a rapper and that the sky’s the limit for my class. Out of all the celebrities that visited my high school that I knew about, he’s number one without a doubt.  His out-of-this-world storytelling is humorous, brilliant, and can’t be replicated. Slick Rick is an outstanding emcee and is in my list of top 20 rappers. He’s known for being a unique lyricist with his flow and delivery. He possesses wit, suave, and confidence with his musical style and name is frequently mentioned in today’s music. Before we get into how’s he’s mentioned today, let’s backtrack to his breakthrough debut album,  “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick”. This album is one of my favorites from Slick Rick. This album contains his catchy flow that’s just head-bopping from start to finish with some occasional snaps of appreciation.

The intro track starts with “Treat Her Like a Prostitute”. This track was controversial and quoted as “misogyny” from others because of his lyrics on women. Slick showcases lyricism such as:

“Treat ‘em like a prostitute/ 
Don’t treat no girlie well until you’re sure of the scoop/” 


"Love is Blind, so there goes your wealth/ 
Until one day, you see things for yourself/"

It’s a clear message that to trust that special someone in your life and don’t have lust overshadow their sneaky motives. With a golden-age hip hop beat complimenting the bold lines throughout the track, it’s a stellar introduction. “The Ruler’s Back”  says that he has “returned”(though its his debut) and is back to take what’s his. Rick indirectly takes shots at people copying his lyrics and biting his style while thinking they're the king of rap. The truth is, Rick thinks it’s a waste of time that his imposters even fathom the thought that they can run the game. I do like the overall beat with the piano rhythms and trombone alternating with an old-school snare and hi-hat that flows well. “Children’s Story” is an early highlight. The story rap throughout this is so entertaining and his loosey-goosey scheme compliments the samples of  “This Is How We Do It”, “La Di Da Di”, and Nautilus fuse together into one song with Slick’s voiceover. I especially like the children’s voice and female impersonation in the beginning and in segments of the track. It’s Slick giving the kids a twisted bedtime story about recent news involving two children addicted to robbery until one got so addicted to the conduct that one day he accidentally robbed an undercover cop. The cop chases the kid down and shoots him dead. Moral of the story: don’t rob people.

Another story unravels in “The Moment I Feared”. I absolutely love the flow in this piece because from start to finish, it is so addictive to the ears. It provides a change of pace with some multi-syllabic rhymes and a consistent tempo, but Rick’s ability for enunciating in different quarter, eighth, sixteenth, and maybe thirty-second notes in the measures is just riveting. It makes the listener attentive to what he’s saying, but his ability to stay on beat is just art and makes you nod in approval. There are some funky alto saxes in the verses with DJ scratches in the chorus, especially that chorus “Let’s Get Crazy” with the Run D.M.C sample throughout the song to make it feel like a late 80's club vibe. “Indian Girl” is absolutely so funny. It’s a great tune with funky bass and swing. Similar to like Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff. I do like the female impersonation adding a level of musical depth into the overall story. The story is very forward, but I absolutely love this fresh beat and flow. So many humorous lyrics and the delivery is immaculate. When you approach this track off the first listen, you can’t help but laugh at Slick Rick’s brilliance. Then you want to keep replaying it because it’s so great.

“Teenage Love” slows it down with a drum set and some cooling synths just to calm the intensity from the previous track. Slick brings in his suave with lines like:

“The feelings are same, and you receive a notion/To reveal your inner thoughts and deeply hit emotions” 

Then he provides guidance with the lines:

“If it’s not true love, you shouldn’t deal wit it/ 
Just think of your future, and what is to come/ and pay attention to the words that’s in this song, they go/”

It’s so wise of Slick trying to connect to the listener on a level like this that’s just to the point. Advice to the listener that to play it smart and get to know that special someone without getting played and hurt emotionally. Like the famous painting, Slick revives the pace with another story of using his slick moves to pick up this beautiful girl that he thought was perfection like “Mona Lisa”. I see you Slick Rick, a crafty man when it comes to song titles. A friend comes to Rick, trying to persuade him to not be convinced under his own spell of thirsty from the young woman and gets him out of the situation. I like the “Walk On By” excerpt as it blends with the song with upbeat yet scattered beat.

“Kit” is about Rick finding out from his friend that someone’s trying to impersonate Slick and claim they're him, so he uses his storytelling about how he overcame that. Showing no respect towards others with the confidence like:

“We stopped by McDonald’s so I could get something to eat, skipped the line, the crowd started to break/ 
Hey yo, let me get a Big Mac and a strawberry shake/”

If that was me, Slick can walk in front of me in line and I'd be okay with it. Showing his confidence that he doesn’t care what people say because he believes the crown is his for keeps. Some NYC traffic sounds whisper throughout the track, so you feel in the story. When he gets to the end of the song where he’s at the imposters location, he arrives with swagger and makes sure that his fans didn’t forget who the real Slick Rick is. A nice little cliffhanger there in the song too. In “Hey Young World”, which I believe is the inspiration for “The World is Yours” by Nas for me. More motivation in Slick’s lyrics such as:

“Bad company….hey now you’ve been framed/
Your parents hurting…hurting and ashamed/”

As if it was an inspirational track for the children, Slick puts forth his voice smoothly over the beat. A gentle piano appears at the the chorus with synthesizer and drums gently flowing around. “Teacher Teacher” arrives with golden age funk production. I absolutely love the change of the beat. Verse One is my favorite verse on this track, as the first half of the verse feels like Slick is the teacher and his competition would be the students, to the second half showing his confidence now that he’s made it in life. The final verse explains the rise of Slick as he was the student once in his life, but explains how he became a teacher himself. Our final track of this album is “Lick the Balls” and he leaves you bopping your head along with the clean DJ scratches and “oohs” sampled through the song. He delivers a fiery flow all at once and doesn’t hold back. It’s bragging in hip hop at its finest and the quality and replay value are at an all time high.

Album Rating: 9.4 out of 10  



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