James Bernard
August 02, 1991 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Ruler's Back

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
Slick Rick
Producers
Def Jam
genre
Hip-Hop/Rap

We gave it a B

Rapper Slick Rick recently began serving up to 10 years in prison for attempted murder. Judging from The Ruler’s Back, no trial or tribulation can cramp his lighthearted style. (And don’t let charges of sexism over his 1988 hit ”Treat Her Like a Prostitute” distract you; that song isn’t like the rest of his work.) With his raspy faux-British delivery, Rick sometimes sounds like a cool schoolteacher entertaining the kiddies before naptime. Here he delivers engaging tales about impulsive romantic mistakes (”I Shouldn’t Have Done It”), biblical figures (”Moses”), and his own responsibilities as a father (”It’s a Boy”). The only detraction: a heavy-handed beat that often competes with his vocals rather than complementing them. B

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