Slick Rick: Free At Last

Freedom. Not many rappers appreciate their freedom as much as "Slick" Rick Walters. Born in South Wimbledon, London England, the rapper came to the United States at the tender age of 11. After hitting it big and becoming a pioneer in the rap game, the rapper ran afoul of the law and served a bid […]

Freedom. Not many

rappers appreciate their freedom as much as "Slick" Rick Walters.

Born in South Wimbledon, London England, the rapper came to the United States

at the tender age of 11. After hitting it big and becoming a pioneer in the

rap game, the rapper ran afoul of the law and served a bid in the 90’s for shooting

at his cousin.

The rapper kept

his nose clean, but after laws post 9-11 became strickt, the rapper found himself

in trouble with the INS, who claimed he deported himself when he left American

waters aboard a cruise ship with the Tom Joyner Morning Show.

The rapper’s freedom

was snatched from him in June of 2002 and he spent the next 17 months in jail

on trumped up charges stating that the time he served for his crime was enough

to send him back to England.

But, Slick Rick,

through it all, managed to stay dignified as his team lobbied to get him out

of the INS detention cell. talked

to the legend, who has no plans to retire. He’s got

plans for hip-hop.

AllHipHop: How

you doing?

Slick Rick: I ‘m


AllHipHop: You

hanging in there?

Slick Rick: Yeah

hanging in there.

AllHipHop: So uh,

are you back to normal yet?

Slick Rick: Yeah

pretty much you know, just getting back into to the swing of things trying to

get everything organized.

AllHipHop: How

was your holiday?

Slick Rick: Oh

it was beautiful, me and the kids had a little Thanksgiving dinner with the

parents you know, so it was a beautiful thing.

AllHipHop: I spoke

to you while you were in jail for AllHipHop. I just wanted to get your thoughts

on the whole situation, now that you are looking at it from hind sight.

Slick Rick: Well

I guess it’s another one of those learning experiences you know what doesn’t

break you, makes you stronger type of a thing and appreciate what’s important

to you and you know appreciate life, appreciate being in America with your family

and things of that nature.

AllHipHop: You

were in there for a minute, what kept you strong?

Slick Rick: I guess

faith and your family you know the ones that stuck by you, your wife, your children,

that’s what pretty much keeps you strong. My faith in God really.

AllHipHop: Was

it easy for you meaning inmate wise? Did people give you a pass or you know,

was it that type of jail?

Slick Rick: Well

I mean it’s going to be rough anywhere you go but um, basically it’s an immigration

jail so everybody is more worried about getting deported to other countries.

In a regular jail you know you’re doing your bid then you get out of jail and

go to immigration. The worse part of their bid is over. Now it’s just the thing

of being deported and fighting to stay in the country. So, a lot of the people

who were there were not like total hardened criminals, some were just off the

street etc. etc.

AllHipHop: Did

you think that it would actually be ruled in your favor because it seemed that

you might be deported.

Slick Rick: Yeah

it did seem crazy, at one point my wife was in England and was trying to look

for a place for us to live, because we had already lost all of our appeals.

So that was a rough moment in our life, I was already packed up and everything

ready to leave, right before the judge put a stop of deportation. So that was

a real ruff moment and that was almost a year ago. That was the roughest part.

AllHipHop: At one

point you actually bragged, well not bragged but you kind of scoffed at the

notion of being deported in a rhyme. I think you said "I don’t care if

they deport me, I run America." What was that called?

Slick Rick: I was

just being humorous you know what I mean? The whole rap was just a bunch of

humorous skits together you know what I mean? It said, even if I got deported,

I own America! You know just regular braggadocios stuff that us rappers do from

time to time. So it was just all in fun, it wasn’t like just being straight

vain or anything crazy.

AllHipHop: Now

initially the industry support for you was very profound and pronounced. Everybody

came out the woodwork, but as time went on it seemed like it died down considerably.

AllHipHop, we

definitely tried to maintain some awareness. How was the support industry wise,

do you have any feelings on that or how it was?

Slick Rick: You

can’t be in the spotlight forever you know what I mean? The story comes and

goes you know. The people that mattered the most stuck by me, the Chris Rocks,

the Will Smiths, the senators, the Jesse Jacksons.They are long term support.

As far as fans are concerned, they are support too and you

know, everybody goes through their own situation. I’m a regular folk, I’m not

a Michael Jackson or something like that, so I don’t expect my name to stay

in everybody’s mouth 24/7. I mean it was a year and a half.

AllHipHop: What

about the guy who impersonated you? I guess it was an identity theft type situation.

What did you think about that when you heard about that?

Slick Rick: Ah

what can you think, it’s a crazy world I mean what am I Diana Ross

now? I’m getting stalkers what is this a joke, you know? What can you do. .It

was rough for my wife you know because she’s just out here with her mother and

her very old grandmother and it’s a bunch of women with no males around. Then

you got this crazy guy who is digging in your account and trying to intimidate

them, so it was scary for them. I felt for them, my wife was scared and worried.

She had to get a order of protection, the guy was a little crazy.

AllHipHop: Moving

forward what’s the word on the new music and stuff?

Slick Rick: Well

right now we are just trying to get the paper work together with the record

label and you know it’s a go. I’m trying to bring back the humor, bring back

my audience, you know we ain’t got nothing against the other audience, but we

want a little higher majority humor.

AllHipHop: Well

we talked about this before but you think it’s too rowdy now?

Slick Rick: It’s

a young generation, you have to let them whatever you call that, sew their oats

.It’s a different generation, but our generation or the older generation, rap

has matured, rap has grown up but there’s nobody representing mature rap or

older rap.You don’t have to be a teacher or preacher, preaching drives people

crazy, but the mature audience wants to be entertained on a mature level. We

all can’t be you know Bow Wow and Nelly. Not to say there’s anything against

them, more power to them, but you know there are people who want to be entertained

on a higher level, you know what I’m trying to say.

AllHipHop: You

know that’s funny you should mention that because I’ve been thinking about Jay-Z

retiring and I’m like, why is he retiring when he can really show people how

to mature with the Hip Hop, instead of just diving out before he "gets

too old" or whatever.

Slick Rick: Well

I think like I said about the whole gam, it’s somewhat dictated by people who

are more corporate, then a part of the culture. It’s like the game is being

kept immature. Once you get a certain age, you have to drop out or go behind

the scenes and that doesn’t give hip-hop ability to mature.

AllHipHop: You

just have a different perspective on life. A lot of times as you get older,

you just see

things differently.

Slick Rick: Exactly,

and I think the audience appreciates that. I mean they see a lot of artist that

they grew up with and they pretty much can tell them or lead them and show them

the mistakes they made and what they did after they made those mistakes. You

hear rappers that make mistakes, some might mess up and go to jail or whatever

the case, but then they are never able to come back to continue and tell the


AllHipHop: Have

you started the new album?

Slick Rick: Well

we haven’t started working on it yet, we are still trying to make sure all the

legal work and everything is in place. I’m really just waiting for the record

label to stop pushing and go ahead.

AllHipHop: So you

still on Def Jam right?

Slick Rick: Yeah

Def Jam records.

AllHipHop: Do you

have any views on the whole Michael Jackson case at all?

Slick Rick: Not

really because I don’t know if it is true or false, I mean he could be railroaded.

It could be true, you never know. Why jump to conclusions? I don’t want to say


AllHipHop: When

you had your case back in 1990, did you feel like your portrayal in the media

was unfair at points?

Slick Rick: There

were some news reporters that sensationalized it and then there were those who

didn’t. You’re going to get that, people have to do there own perceiving. That’s

what makes an individual an individual, make your own perception.

AllHipHop: And

you still have no planned legal pursuit against the INS or anything like that?

Slick Rick: No.

AllHipHop: So you’re

bitter at all about the situation?

Slick Rick: Naw,

I don’t feel bitter.

AllHipHop: So,

are you and the family doing anything special for Christmas?

Slick Rick: We

haven’t really made plans yet so, it’ll basically just be the family and the

opening gifts type of thing.