The other day, I had the news on for some background noise and I heard one of the reporters say “Here we go”. I know they probably said it in a forced dropped octave newscaster voice, but anytime someone says that phrase, I hear Slick Rick’s voice saying it and like a reflex I go on:

“Once upon a time not long ago

When people wore pajamas and lived life slow”

By the time I caught myself, I was already down the Old School rabbit hole. I started thinking how much has changed since “Children’s Story” was originally released, yet how much those two lines fit in Covid Times and how I need to start every discussion I have with this lyric now.

There is so much to unpack about Slick Rick and “Children’s Story”. Slick Rick is one of the best story rappers of all time, and “Children’s Story” is justifiably sampled/covered and referenced 30+ years later, but the track is a story about looting and shooting presented as a Children’s story. Sure it’s a cautionary tale about the downward spiral that can result from making bad decisions, but how many 4 year olds need to be scared straight? I know, I’m overthinking it.

“Just another case about the wrong path”

Then in 1990, in a case of do as I say and not as I do, Rick the Ruler was arrested and sent to prison for attempted murder of his cousin (although he claimed it was self-defense). After MC Ricky D was released from prison in 1997, he ended up spending the next decade in a vicious cycle of fighting deportation or being thrown in jail because he was a foreign national (British) with an attempted murder conviction on his record.

“And this is the way I have to end this story”

Unlike “Children’s Story”, Slick Rick’s story has a happier ending. Besides making dope music and having a lasting influence over artists and pop culture, things finally worked out for MC Ricky D. In 2008, David Paterson (then the Governor of New York) gave Slick Rick a full and unconditional pardon for the attempted murder charges. Then in 2016 Slick Rick became a US Citizen

“Knock ‘em out the Box Rick”

Knock ‘em out the Box Set, Rick. On Record Store Day 2017, Slick Rick and Get on Down released an actual “Children’s Story” Story Book along with the 7” Vinyl and CD. We actually found a new copy on Ebay. You can snag it here.

“Good Night”

Samples:

Bob James –“Nautilus”

*Technically it’s a replay not a sample, because Slick Rick played the baseline riff on a keyboard. Here’s Bob James listening to Children’s Story and talking about artists sampling him.

Chess, Mon Amor | Amor Services

The LA Based Amor Studio curates a gallery show on a Chess Board with Chess, Mon Amor, featuring Alake Shilling, Tremaine Emory, Bernhard Willhelm, Yves Tumor, Gaetano Pesce, Ser Serpas, and Mandy Harris Williams

Old School Wednesday: Dr Dre – Let Me Ride

Dr. Dre ~ "Let Me Ride" (L) So on and so on, why don't you let me roll on?I remember back in the days when I used to have to get my stroll onDidn't nobody wanna speakNow everybody peepin' out they window when they hear me beatin' up the streetIs it Dre? Is it...

bläanks | Urbanized Cottagecore

Get to know the LA based interior knit brand merging tradition, craft and modern living

Old School Wednesday: 3rd Bass – Gas Face

3rd Bass ~ “Gas Face” (L)"A Gas Face can either be a smile or a smirk When appears, a monkey wrench to work one's clockwork Perkin his brim to the rim of my cup Don't tempt me, you're empty, so fill'er up! Is I'm talkin coffee or cocoa, is you loco? Cash or credit for...

Bitcoin For Creatives | Angelina Dreem

New year? Time to hustle your 2021. With an all time high, let Angelina Dreem guide you into the fun, cool, and sexy world of Bitcoin.

John Carroll Kirby x Scent

The Jazz Multi-instrumentalist John Carroll Kirby collabs with Mexico City based Indie label Scent to redefine merch

Old School Wednesday: RUN DMC – Christmas in Hollis

RUN DMC ~ "Christmas in Hollis" (L)"Rhymes so loud and proud you hear it It's Christmas time and we got the spirit Jack Frost chillin', the orchid’s out And that's what Christmas is all about The time is now, the place is here And the whole wide world is filled with...

Spiritual Tools | In Times of Transformation

Spiritual Tools for Times of Transformation.  A conversation with Astara founder, Crystal Healer & Herbalist Mariah K Lyons and Energetic Healer & Herbalist Julie Hovsepian 2020!?! Why is transformation so important at this time? M – This has been a year of...

Roberta Gentry | We Need Mirrors

Get to know the artist who makes work merging “figurative but also mechanical”

Gitte’s Kitchen | Magic Medicinal Mushroom Raw Chocolate

Learn how to indulge in the ceremonial delights of everyday psychedelia with these raw and simple Magic Medicinal Mushrooms Raw Chocolate recipe from the Danish photographer Gitte Meldgaard