Classic Music: Antlife's Top 25 Hip Hop Albums of All-Time #14 (Slick Rick "The Great Adventures of Slick Rick") (1988)

As if you’re still livin’..

Being a kid in the 80’s was so dope, because Hip Hop was just startin’ to get into what it would become, if you were my age back then. Sure, older cats had already experienced the culture in so many ways by that time, via breakin’, graff’ and b-boyin’. But if you were still a kid in the 80’s, you remember how fresh the music felt, how inspiring the culture was. I was born and raised in NY, and that was the mecca back then for all things Hip Hop. You couldn’t escape it, and I didn’t want to! The first Hip Hop record I had ever memorized was Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick’s “La Di Da Di”. I heard it first at a birthday party, of all places, but felt the impact of it immediately. They had another classic track back then called “The Show” that I would hear all the time, blastin’ outta cars, when I was outside. These records were my first taste of what would be a lifelong addiction to this music and culture.

So when Slick Rick released his classic debut, “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick”, the Hip Hop world went crazy. I was too young to listen to the album, according to my parents. They even went so far as to confiscate my cousin’s cassette of the album, after she bought it, so that I couldn’t listen to it. This would only make me want to hear it more. Once I was “old enough” to actually listen to and enjoy the album, I was hooked! Rick the Ruler had a knack for makin’ his tracks sound so effortless. The fact that he still had his UK accent made him even doper to me. But back then, there were few that were as adept at telling stories with such detail and grace, as Rick was. He had his own style, and though there were a couple biters back then (who I won’t name) nobody did it like The Ruler did back then.

The cool thing about this classic, is that the album still feels and sounds fresh today. The “golden age” of Hip Hop was very good to us, and this album proves it. With production from the great Eric Sadler and Hank Shocklee (who were largely responsible for producing so many classic albums for Public Enemy as The Bomb Squad), along with Jam Master Jay of Run DMC and Slick Rick himself, this album was damn near perfection. My favorite cuts are still, “Hey Young World”, “Mona Lisa”, “Teenage Love”, “Treat Her Like a Prostitute”, “Children’s Story”, “Indian Girl”, “The Ruler’s Back” & “The Moment I Feared”. These tracks are so damn timeless, it’s ridiculous! This is just one of those albums you’re supposed to have, no questions asked. If you don’t, you need to change that.



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