Review Summary: Released in 1988, this is one of those albums that will still be heavily played and referenced to 20 years from now. Most likely more.
If and when you look for information on Slick Rick, it won't take long to find out how big of an impact he has made on the history of rap music. So for me to tell you that shouldn't be a big surprise. For me to tell you that The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
is the artist's best work shouldn't be a big surprise. And for me to tell you that this album is one of the top 10 rap albums ever made shouldn't be a big surprise. But if any
of that is new to you, then it is essential that you keep reading.
The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
is Rick's debut album released in 1988 on Def Jam Records. Before this time, telling stories in the lyrics was not a common thing in the genre of rap music. Especially if it wasn't in first-person perspective. Slick Rick was quick to change this by laying down the 12 Commandments of hip-hop storytelling, also known as The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
. From the release of this album onward up until this very day, if there's a hip-hop track out there that tells a tale, you can bet that it wouldn't sound the same if The Great Adventures of Slick Rick
had not been released.
In this album the Ruler, with his unique light British accent, manages to rhyme phrases and words yet to be heard of at that time. It has a clear old school sound to it incorporating horns and Casio beats sprinkled all over. All bases are covered on this record. You got the classic storytelling songs that made him famous such as The Moment I Feared
, Mona Lisa
, and the popular single Children's Story
. Rick includes a couple songs chock full o' morals clearly intended for younger audiences as life lessons. Songs like Hey Young World
and Teenage Love
get the job done here. Let's Get Crazy
and possibly my favorite track on the album,The Ruler's Back
serve as your 80's party jams. And finally you have your songs that managed to offend quite a few listeners like Treat Her Like A Prostitute
and Indian Girl (An Adult Story)
. "An Adult Story" might just be an understatement as you can tell in just this small sample of the lyrics:
Well, he was playing with her tits, they were soft not lumpy
And then he cracked the legs like humpty-dumpty
Hes ***ing, sucking, also finger popping
He had, no intention of stopping
Though it's commonly agreed upon by most that this is a classic record, this is my personal review of the record. If I was basing my rating off of the influence factor alone, it would easily be a 5. When I commented earlier about this album covering all bases in terms of subject material, this could either be a good or a bad thing. Yeah it shows range, but for me the messages sent in these songs are so contradictory that it's hard to take his more serious songs......... well..... seriously. This is a record I put on when I want to hear a fun record. And I would be fine with a serious track like Teenage Love
, but it seems to drag on a little too long. The beat is mediocre, so Rick's rhymes are the only thing to save the song. The problem is that there are too many long sections in the song without vocals. Hey Young World
has a considerably better beat and kind of has a reggae feel to it. My only thing with this song is what I described earlier. He raps about how you should be respecting your mother over anyone, but of course you didn't forget the first track on the album, Treat Her Like A Prostitute
I may bump this up to a 4, but whether I leave it at a 3.5 or move it up, I won't receive a 5 from me like I've seen many other review sites give the album. I would in a heartbeat if this was based on influence alone. But it's not and I can spot a couple of flaws that prevent it from being perfect. It doesn't matter what rating this gets though. The people who call themselves fans of hip-hop, but have yet to even give this album a spin are, as the Ruler himself would say, crumbs.
The Ruler's Back