Slick Rick & Doug E. Fresh
Although he began his recording career as a solo artist as one of the last artists on Enjoy Records and one of the first on Vintertainment Records (the same New York-based label owned by Vincent Davis that would later make a name of Hip-Hop artist Joeski Love and bring R&B “icon” Keith Sweat to ultimate fame), it was when he and a new team of DJs known as the Get Fresh Crew (Barry Bee and Chill Will) along with a newcomer named MC Ricky D (who would later achieve fame as Slick Rick) came to fledgling New Jersey-based Hip-Hop label Danya/Reality Records the following year and recorded “The Show” (which borrowed the melody of the Inspector Gadget theme by Shuki Levy), and “La Di Da Di”, a tune that was completely voiced by MC Ricky D and backed by Doug E’s beat boxing for the entire duration of the song. It was when both of these songs were released on a single (particularly 12″ single) that broke him (and Slick Rick) into stardom. Both “The Show” and “La-Di-Da-Di” are considered two of the all-time greatest early hip hop classics and, as such, make up one of the first and only Hip-Hop singles to have two hit songs on the same record.
Doug E. Fresh was also interviewed in the 1986 cult documentary Big Fun In The Big Town. Unfortunately, Slick Rick would leave the group almost a year after the single was released leaving many wondering what happened to him until 1988 when he became a Def Jam artist and released his debut album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick. Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew soldiered on, now officially signed to Danya/Reality/Fantasy and releasing two albums from that period—Oh, My God! from 1986 (which includes the hit song “All The Way To Heaven“) and The World’s Greatest Entertainer from 1988—both of which are now long out of print and extremely rare. The main single from the album The World’s Greatest Entertainer was “Keep Risin’ To The Top” which was named after Keni Burke’s then-obscure 1981 hit “Rising To The Top“, which, thanks to being sampled in Doug E. Fresh’s song, has become Keni’s signature tune. Doug E.’s “Keep Risin’ To The Top” also samples the main chorus phrase of Heatwave’s 1976 classic “Ain’t No Half Steppin‘,” which Big Daddy Kane also sampled that same year for his song of the same name.
Richard Martin Lloyd Walters (born January 14, 1965; better known as Slick Rick, Rick The Ruler and Ricky Dee) is a British-born American rapper. He has released four albums: The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (1988), The Ruler’s Back (1991), Behind Bars (1994) and The Art of Storytelling (1999). His music has been sampled and interpolated over 600 times, in over 35 songs by artists including Beyoncé, The Beastie Boys, TLC, Nas, Miley Cyrus, Kanye West, Black Star, The Notorious B.I.G., Snoop Dogg, MC Ren, and Color Me Badd. In the process, Walters has become the most-sampled hip-hop artist ever. Many of the new songs became hit singles. Additionally, Rick has collaborated with such musical icons as Jay-Z, Missy Elliot, Aaliyah and Outkast. He’s been a VH-1 Hip Hop Honors honoree, and About.com ranked him No. 12 on their list of the Top 50 MCs of Our Time, while The Source ranked him No. 15 on their list of the Top 50 Lyricists of All Time. He has acted and cameoed in 10 movies and videos.