Yeah, we see you. Updating your lil’ Facebook statuses with random “Swagga Like Us” quotes. We hear ya, screaming Kanye’s Naaaa naaa naaaa… at the top of your lungs in the club. Nobody has swagga like us?
Because if that were to be true, Ricky Walters a.k.a. MC Ricky D. a.k.a. Slick Rick the Ruler designed the blueprint for rappers to have to that undeniable bravado in their persona — and he didn’t have to brag about it. Sure, Kane was smooth, and Rakim was a dauntless figure, but Rick’s charismatic techniques bled into his music and inspired an entire generation of rappers to be so exaggerated, while elevating the caliber of Hip-Hop music at such a pivotal time in the culture. Only Rick could pull off such mannerisms that would otherwise look ridiculous. (The man made an eye patch look fly!) And he’s inspired some of rap’s biggest names while doing so.
The Gaudy Jewelry
Draped with copious amounts of golden jewelry (as pictured above) on a regular basis, the outrageous wardrobe choice may be a parody hot spot for those who mock the culture, but when it comes to Slick Rick, a missing pinky ring may appear for him to be under dressed.
INSPIRED – Ghostface Killah, Fabolous, Busta Rhymes, Nas
The British Accent
Aside from Monie Love, there hasn’t been another English MC to make such a tremendous impact on Hip-Hop’s history. Rather surprising, given the amount Rick accomplished with the flow. One part London linguistic, the other a little BX bravado, Ricky D. carried his rhymes with the decorum of a sing-songy melody. Not only did it complement the chronic humor within his discography, it added a distinctive element to the music of Slick Rick. An element mimicked by many, mastered by few.
INSPIRED – Snoop Dogg, Kanye West, André 3000, Nas
The Incomparable Tales Of Slick Rick
“La Di Da Di, we like to party…”
“Once upon a time not long…”
“This ain’t funny, so don’t you dare laugh…”
Sound familiar? Hey young world, if you here some of your favorite MCs using these catch phrases among a several dozen others, just know it wasn’t from their own creative genius.
With his personage iconic enough to cement his legendary status on its own merit, the innovation encompassed into his “storied” discography only drive home the point handily. For starters, his debut The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick is arguably the only Hip-Hop album from 1988 which doesn’t directly reflect the era in terms of lyrical flow and variation in production. From jump, Rick was a yard ahead of the “Mic-check 1-2, 1-2, and yes yes y’all” dialogue of his peers. And his penchant for storytelling was so vivid, he all but birthed the niche required on every rap album that followed Great Adventures. The world renowned “Children’s Story” is the stuff Saturday night mix shows are made of while the message heard on “Hey Young World” has reigned supreme even in the light of some of Rick’s legal trouble that included a deportation from the States.
INSPIRED – EVERYBODY. But for arguments sake…The Notorious B.I.G., Raekwon, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Method Man & Redman, Black Rob, Devin The Dude, Nas
Back where it all started…
VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors show airs Monday, 10.6.08 at 10 p.m. ET.