This week, Slick Rick is celebrating the 30th-anniversary of his landmark debut album, The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick. On Def Jam/Columbia Records, the nimble storyteller offered a collection of shorts about crime, sex, stick-ups, and messages to the youth. The moment was pivotal for Hip-Hop as Rick enhanced Rap verses to a conversational style. MCs from Snoop Dogg to OutKast to Ghostface Killah took note, studying and emulating the contributions of the onetime Doug E. Fresh affiliate.
After 30 years, Rick and Def Jam are still working together. MC Ricky D and his label since the earliest days (he was the third act signed by Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin’s imprint) have created a deluxe 30th-anniversary edition of The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick. The package includes some 1984 demos that show Rick, like his then-label-mates Public Enemy, was even more ahead of his time than he gets credit for. There are also official merchandise bundles surrounding Rick’s most celebrated album and its birthday (image embedded below). However, Heads are also treated to a song from the cutting-room floor—and all can listen.
“Snakes Of The World Today” was a song that Rick wrote, produced, and recorded himself more than 30 years ago. The song features some of the same samples Ricky used elsewhere, such as Bob James’ “Nautilus” (which recently got a sequel). Rick uses animals to spin a tale about deceit, peril, and mortality lurking around every corner. Treachery has not changed in 30 years, making this one timelessly applicable.
Rick also seems to be addressing the record industry, and artists who sold their souls for a check. Whether it was Rick or his trusted DJ at the time, Vance Wright, the track also features some superb scratches. The audio quality is not perfect, but no one is complaining at receiving some new material from a legendary MC in his career-defining stride.
Here is the tracklisting to the special edition re-release:
1. Treat Her Like a Prostitute
2. The Ruler’s Back
3. Children’s Story
4. The Moment I Feared
5. Let’s Get Crazy
6. Indian Girl (An Adult Story)
7. Teenage Love
8. Mona Lisa
9. Kit (What’s the Scoop)
10. Hey Young World
11. Teacher, Teacher
12. Lick the Balls
13. Children’s Story (Demo) – previously unreleased
14. A Teenage Love (Demo) – previously unreleased
15. Mona Lisa (Demo) – previously unreleased
16. Hey Young World (Demo) – previously unreleased
17. Snakes of The World Today (Session Track) – previously unreleased
18. Can’t Dance To A Track That Ain’t Got No Soul (new song) – previously unreleased
Last week, Rick appeared on The Black Eyed Peas’ Masters Of The Sun, Vol. 1 album, care of video single, “Constant Pt. 1 & Pt. 2.” Additionally, Rick made a cameo in French Montana’s “No Stylist” video, featuring Drake. He is also part of the single’s artwork.