Photo of Slick RickRichard Walters (born January 14, 1965), better known by his stage name Slick Rick (also known as MC Ricky D and Rick the Ruler) is a Grammy-nominated British American rapper. The M.C. celebrates his 51-birthday today.

He began his career in late 1983, in the hip hop genre, where he recorded a series of acclaimed recordings such as, “Children’s Story“, “La Di Da Di” and “Hey Young World.”

Walters is best known for his British accent and his story telling innovations in this genre. His music has been frequently sampled and interpolated by other artists such as, TLC, Black Star, and Snoop Dogg; with many of these songs later becoming hit singles.

Originally from Mitcham in London, England, Walters moved with his British Jamaican family to The Bronx in 1975 where he met Dana Dane with whom he later formed a hip hop duo known as the Kangol Crew. Walters received his characteristic eye patch after being blinded in the right eye by broken glass as an infant.

He first gained success in the rap industry by joining Doug E. Fresh’s Get Fresh Crew, with the stage name MC Ricky D. He was featured on two singles, “The Show” and “La Di Da Di“. “La Di Da Di” featured Walters’ rapping over Doug E. Fresh’s beatbox. These singles gained some mainstream attention.

In 1988 Walters’ solo debut “The Great Adventures of Slick Rick” came out on Def Jam Records. The album was very successful, reaching the #1 spot on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop chart and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. It also featured three charting singles: “Children’s Story“, “Hey Young World“, and “Teenage Love“.

After a five years stint in prison on attempted murder and immigration charges, Walters recorded his second album, “The Ruler’s Back.” Walters third studio album “Behind Bars” was released while he was still incarcerated.

After being released from prison in 1996, Walters remained with the Def Jam label and on May 25, 1999 released a fourth album entitled “The Art of Storytelling” which reached #1 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop chart and has been certified gold by the RIAA. The album also peaked at #8 on the Billboard 200 chart, his highest placement to date

Slick Rick
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