Skip to main content
Report this ad

See also:

Rakim and Slick Rick @ Howard Theatre, Friday February 28, 8PM

Slick Rick and Rakim will lock down the Howard Theatre Fri. Feb. 28.
Slick Rick and Rakim will lock down the Howard Theatre Fri. Feb. 28.
Photo Courtesy The Howard Theatre

Two of rap music’s biggest icons will grace the stage of the Howard Theatre this Friday night. Rakim and

Slick Rick.

You remember the two? Slick Rick and his monumental opening words “la-di-da-di” on Dougie Fresh’s hit

“La-Di-Da-Di.” And Rakim’s famous words “I like to move the crowd,” and “it ‘aint where your from its

where you at!”

The two will be at the Howard Theatre this Friday night February 28 to bring us back to the

glory days of hip-hop, undoubtedly showing and proving that real MC’s never die.

Both are staples of hip-hop. Rakim is considered by many hip-hop fans as “the best rapper of all times.” This

can be debated (I believe it) but, both artists histories speak for themselves. The Howard Theatre provided a

bio of the two rappers which says it all, and will educate “new school” rap fans to where rap really came

from. Enjoy them and see you Friday night!


Slick Rick

Slick Rick released his first solo album in 1988 titled The Great Adventures of Slick Rick. It hit No. 1.

on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop charts and was one of the first hip-hop records to go platinum. Rick was

preparing to record his sophomore effort, The Ruler’s Back, but three weeks of recording sessions

were followed by five years in jail. Clearly, there are moments of deliberate ambiguity in the Slick

Rick Experience (enough to make P.T. Barnum blush). Still, plenty of facts uphold the mythos. The

eye patch, forinstance, is legit, courtesy of a glass shard that flew into Rick’s eye when he was an

infant. And the British accent is genuine — its casual refinement belies every dumb gangsta

stereotype. Throw in some gleaming grills, some bejeweled outerwear and – voila – you have the

genius of Slick Rick. He’s no reticent wallflower – he’s larger than life. In short, there’s nothing like

the Slick Rick Experience. Every album is a parallel universe where old-time radio and urban culture

collide. Aural theater merges with ghetto fantasy. Rick becomes a character actor with voice-throwing

chops a ventriloquist would envy and narrative powers greater than Stephen King. In theory, it all

seems preposterous – impossible to pull off. But because Rick hassuch a genuine gift on the mic –

dexterity, cleverness, wit, articulation, fluidity – it works like gangbusters.


In 1986, Rakim started to work with New York-based producer-DJ Eric B. The duo—known as Eric B

& Rakim—is widely regarded as among the most influential and groundbreaking of hip-hop groups,

due in no small part to Rakim's technical abilities. The duo’s first single, "Eric B. Is President" was a

success and got the duo a contract with the fledgling Island Records sub-label 4th & B'way. The duo’s

next single, the smash “I Know You Got Soul,” sparked early debate on the legality of unauthorized,

uncredited sampling when James Brown sued to prevent the duo's use of a fragment of his music. It

also established Brown's back catalog as a hip musical mining ground for a new generation of hip-hop

programmers. Their first full album,Paid In Full, was released in 1987. causing a stir in the hip-hop

music world due to its novel sound, approach, and subject matter. Rakim pioneered a practice

previously unknown to hip-hop called internal rhyming. Already an important aspect of traditional

poetry, where rhymes could be found throughout the barof a lyric which added to the rhythmic

complexity of the song: "I keep the mic at Fahrenheit, freeze MC'smake 'em colder/The listeners

system is kicking like solar/As I memorize, advertise like a poet/Keep it goin', when I'm flowin' smooth

enough, you know it's rough." Instead of two rhyming syllables within two lines at the end of the lines,

as we would find in the older hip-hop style displayed above, we have 18 rhyming syllables in just four

lines. Rakim also introduced a lyrical technique known as cliffhanging and popularized the use of

metaphors with multiple meanings. His songs were the first to really impart hip-hop music lyrics with

a serious poetic device sensibility. Eric B & Rakim went on to produce three more successful albums,

all now considered hip hop standards. Prior to Rakim, hip-hop music lyricism was usually rather

simple froma structural standpoint and the ideas it expressed were easy and direct. Many hip-hop

artists (both underground and mainstream) acknowledge a huge debt to Rakim's innovative style. He

is given credit forpopularizing the heavy use of internal rhymes in hip-hop—rhymes that are not

necessary to the overall rhyme scheme of the verse, but occur between the endpoints of lines and

stanzas, serving to increase the alliteration, assonance, and emphasis of the rhyme. He is also credited

for the jazzy, heavily stylistic, seemingly effortless delivery of his lyrical content.

-Howard Theatre

See more at:

Slick Rick and Rakim
The Howard Theatre
620 T Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Friday, February 28, 2014
show starts @ 8PM

Report this ad