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Art of Storytelling
     

The Art of Storytelling

by Slick Rick
 

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Ricky Walters' career got sidetracked by a stint in the pokey and a couple of disappointing albums done on the fly from the inside, so he's been saying he considers The Art of Storytelling his "real second album." It's certainly of the moment, with a small army of producers and guest stars stuffing the disc to overflowing, alongside flashbacks to live versions

Overview

Ricky Walters' career got sidetracked by a stint in the pokey and a couple of disappointing albums done on the fly from the inside, so he's been saying he considers The Art of Storytelling his "real second album." It's certainly of the moment, with a small army of producers and guest stars stuffing the disc to overflowing, alongside flashbacks to live versions of "La Di Da Di" and "The Show" (the Doug E. Fresh collaborations that are still the cornerstone of his rep). Rick's voice and style are inimitable: The most genteel of sex-obsessed thugs, he's got a Brit-accented wheeze that flips a billion syllables into each line and internal rhymes as tricky as a sailor's knot. But his real mastery is in spinning those flurries of words into coherent yarns, whether he's imagining rapping for a pharaoh or just reminiscing at full clip over an old-school pitty-pat.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
If there's one thing Slick Rick has mastered, it is The Art of Storytelling. Ever since his debut, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, he has been known for his literate, winding narratives, but his career was marred by legal troubles that kept him in prison for much of the '90s. Consequently, The Art of Storytelling is only his fourth album, but it's the first to rank as a worthy sequel to his classic debut. The Ruler's Back came close to capturing the feel of The Great Adventures, but The Art has a continually stunning set of stories and tales, and the presence of guest artists -- even rappers as talented as OutKast, Nas, Raekwon, and Snoop Dogg -- only emphasizes what a singular talent Rick is. The smooth production may be a little bit mired in contemporary rap clichés, but it's all enjoyable. Besides, Rick is about the lyrics, not the music, and he has written a stellar set of songs here, songs that are continually surprising and thought-provoking. It's a masterful set from one of the true lyrical masters of hip-hop.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/25/1999
Label:
Def Jam
UPC:
0731455893625
catalogNumber:
558936
Rank:
15689

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