Richard Walters (born 14 January 1965), better known by his stage name Slick Rick, is a Grammy-nominated English-American rapper. He has also been known as Rick the Ruler and Ricky Dee. He began his career in late 1983, in the hip hop genre, where he recorded a series of acclaimed recordings such as “La Di Da Di” and “Children’s Story”. He is known for the use of narrative in his raps and has been called “hip hop’s greatest storyteller.”
Slick Rick rose to stardom in an era known to fans as the Golden age of hip hop. His music has been frequently sampled and interpolated by other artists such as TLC, Black Star, The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, and Color Me Badd, with many of these songs later becoming hit singles. About.com ranked him #12 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time, while The Source ranked him #15 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time.
Walters was born and raised in the south-west London district of Mitcham, to a British Jamaican family. He was blinded in the right eye by broken glass as an infant, and has worn an eyepatch ever since. He and his family moved to Brooklyn in 1977. As a child, he met Dana Dane, with whom he later formed a hip hop duo known as the Kangol Crew.
Walters first gained success in the rap industry after joining Doug E. Fresh’s Get Fresh Crew, using the stage name MC Ricky D. He was featured on the single “The Show” and its even more popular B-side, “La Di Da Di”. La Di Da Di featured Walters’ rapping over Doug E. Fresh’s beatbox. Both tracks 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. It also featured three charting singles: “Children’s Story”, “Hey Young World”, and “Teenage Love”.