The most enduring recording of SLICK RICK (Richard Walters, aka MC Ricky D and Rick the Ruler, born 1965) is probably his guest appearance on Doug E. Fresh’s “La Di Da Di” in 1985. But his weirdest artistic triumph is 1991′s flop The Ruler’s Back, a frantic set banged out very quickly while he was out on bail (on his way to five years in stir for attempted murder). Almost every track follows the same formula: three verses of sixteen lines, each ending with the title and a sample or two. In one song, he’s Moses; in another, he’s James Bond; in a third, he’s Top Cat. Every lyric’s conceit is a stream-of-consciousness channel of escape for an exhausted man in trouble for violence. (“I Shouldn’t Have Done It” is about cheating.) The whole thing is sputteringly rushed and deadpan: Vance Wright’s beats tumble all over each other, and Rick’s taunting, British-accented drawl is reduced to a flat murmur rat-a-tatting out strings of syllables in overlapping phrases, as if breathing were a luxury available only to MCs not in quite so much of a hurry.
READ MORE about the Reconstructionist Generation (1964-73).