NYC hip-hop artist Slick Rick is one of the most influential rappers of all time. He’s been shouted out and sampled by everyone from Kanye West and Amy Winehouse to The Beastie Boys and Beyonce, and on November 26, the British born rapper will be performing his first ever hometown show at London’s O2 Forum, as well as appearing at Manchester Mantra (Nov 25), Bristol O2 Academy (Nov 27), Birmingham O2 Institute (Nov 28), Dublin Sugar Club (Nov 29) and Brighton Concorde 2 (Nov 30). “You can expect Slick Rick to bring his brand, his razzmatazz, his glitz and glamour that I bring to the table,” explained Rick to NME of what’s in store for the gigs. “The whole Slick Rick essence and ambiance!” In celebration of what’s sure to be an epic run of shows, we asked Slick Rick to share the Soundtrack of his Life.

The First Song I Remember Hearing

The Beatles

‘Michelle’

“Oh Jesus, that’s a good one. I guess the oldest one that I can possibly think of would have to be ‘Michelle’ by The Beatles. I would have heard it on the radio. It had a catchy melody that stays with you, a pretty melody. The Beatles have got a lot of songs that I like – I like their sound.”

 

The First Song I Fell In Love With

Keni Burke

‘Risin’ To The Top’

Keni Burke – Rising To The Top (12″ Version)

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“It had a beautiful sound to it and the way the guy was singing with it, it had a lot of soul – you could dance to it too. It had a catchy, catchy tune. It was very soulful. I would have been about 17 when I heard that.”

 

The First Record I Bought

Cheryl Lynn

‘Got To Be Real’

Got To Be Real – CHERYL LYNN ‘1978

Got To Be Real – CHERYL LYNN ‘1978 Album ”CHERYL LYNN” 1978

“It would have been in the early days of hip hop. I got ‘Got To Be Real’ from a store called ‘Crazy Eddies’ in the Bronx. Crazy Eddies sold stereos and musical equipment and records and cassettes in the very early ’80s”

 

The First Concert I Went To 

Slick Rick and Run DMC

“I didn’t got to any concerts before I got famous, so I would have to say my own concert with other artists like Run DMC. I did go to a Michael Jackson concert but that was later on. Seeing Run DMC was like seeing your environment on stage – your age group, your generation, your sound, your music, your essence on stage, in front of its core audience. It was a young urban culture, a young urban crowd wearing Adidas and jeans, gold rope chains and nice big gold earrings and cute hairstyles and cute colours.”

 

The Song That Made Me Want To Make Music

Herman Kelly

‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat’

“That’s going way back, that would be a like song like ‘Dance To The Drummer’s Beat’ and that was back in the day of Africa Bambaata and, there was also a song called ‘Bongo Rock’. It had a funky funky sound that I connected to, certain hip hop instrumentals stood out to me more than others. To make my own was pretty much easy when you’re playing around by yourself or banging on the desk and stuff but when it came to recording, when you had to make 12 records at one time, like an album, then it became a little bit more complex.”

 

The Song I Do At Karaoke

Dionne Warwick

‘Walk On By’

Slick Rick-Mona Lisa

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“I’ve never done karaoke before but I know a lot of Dionne Warwick songs. I sample ‘Walk On By’ in one of my songs, ‘Mona Lisa’. It’s like how people like Frank Sinatra, she’s like a female urban Frank Sinatra. She then passed her baton to Diana Ross.”

 

The Song That Makes Me Want To Dance

Nicki Minaj, feat Drake and Lil Wayne

‘Truffle Butter’

“It has a strong beat and they ride the track pretty good. They wrote it good and it has a strong sound to it. What’s my dancing like? I like to do the vogue, Madonna’s vogue – 1980s dances.”

 

The Song I Can’t Get Out Of My Head

The Heptones

‘Love Me Always’

The Heptones – Love me always

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“I like old Jamaican records, so they got this group from the ‘60’s called The Heptones and they had this song called “Love Me Always”, that’s my favourite Jamaican song. It’s like a reggae love song.”

 

The Song I Want Played At My Funeral

Frank Sinatra

‘My Way’

“It’s powerful, it’s strong. It’s just the way he sang it, he sang it real beautiful.”