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Music / The Great Adventures of Slick Rick

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A storybook like no other.
"Knock 'em out the box, Rick. Knock 'em out, Rick."
- From the ending of "Children's Story"

Nephew #1: Uncle Ricky, can you read us a TV Tropes page? Please, huh, please?

Slick Rick: All right, you kids get to bed, I'll go get the tablet.

Nephews: Yay, alright!

Slick Rick: Ya'll tucked in?

Nephew #2: Yes!

Slick Rick: Here we go...

The Great Adventures of Slick Rick is the debut solo album by British-Jamaican rapper Slick Rick, released in 1988 on Def Jam Records.

Expanding on the storytelling concept previously used in "La Di Da Di" ,The Great Adventures is a Concept Album in that the whole album is played out like a storybook, with different tales. Rick also makes use of some common Aesops throughout the album, including relationships gone bad ("Teenage Love"), the consequences of law breaking ("Children's Story" and "The Moment I Feared"), and sexual promiscuity ("Indian Girl"). The album also contains non-story tracks such as "Let's Get Crazy" and "Lick The Balls", among others.


The Great Adventures would peak within the top thirty of Billboard's "Hot 200", and spawned several hit singles. In late 2018, Ricky D announced that he was re-releasing the album to commemorate it's 30th anniversary in 2019, complete with a behind the scenes booklet, special edition blue vinyl, and clothing. In commemoration, he also dropped a new single: "Snakes of the World Today."

Followed up with The Ruler's Back.



  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"

Trope Her Like a Prostitute

  • An Aesop: Let's break it down track-by-track:
    • As much of a Broken Aesop it is, the basic message of "Treat Her Like a Prostitute" is to not get too involved with any girl unless you're sure she's worth it, otherwise you're gonna get your heart broken.
    • "Children's Story": at the end of the story when the boy is killed, Rick advises his nephews to stay on the straight and narrow, and not get into trouble.
    • "Teenage Love": Two couples, implied by the title to be High-School Sweethearts, end up breaking up due to infidelity, as well as the attraction simply not being there anymore. As Rick puts it near the end of the song, "if it's not true love, you shouldn't deal with it".
    • "Hey Young World": Much like "Children's Story", the moral is aimed at the young listeners to stay on the straight and narrow path. However, it's expanded upon, and good behavior and respect are central points.
  • Alliterative Name: Running Rabbit in "Indian Girl - An Adult Story".
  • Artistic License – Linguistics: "Kit (What's the Scoop?)" does this twice.
    Then I's free, I's free, an alarm was alerted
    I made a flying leap through the window and it hurted
  • Battle Rapping: "Lick the Balls" is the only example on the album.
  • Black Comedy: "The Moment I Feared", big time. See the Humiliation Conga entry for details.
  • Boastful Rap: "Teacher, Teacher" and "Lick the Balls".
    Now my only task is to warn all biters
    Slimy sluts and fake rhyme writers
    Don't try your luck and get the ruler annoyed
    For when I'm through with you boy your whole world will be destroyed
    So chill mister muscle or I'll come and hunt ya
    If you are a girl I'll make no man want ya
    So if you wanna rule and no (?) in the way
    Pay attention to my syllables and come see me and say hey hey
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: In the Music Video for "Hey Young World", Rick continues rapping the lyrics to the song even after walking off the stage that the video itself is being filmed on.
  • Changed for the Video: "Children's Story" used a remixed beat for its music video (known as the "Knock 'Em Out the Box Mix" on the song's 12" single), but otherwise doesn't change the song in any way.
  • Concept Album: Save for a couple of tracks, The Great Adventures is essentially a musical audiobook.
  • Corrupt the Cutie: The bedtime story Slick Rick reads to the children in "Children's Story" is not at all suitable for minors. It's a graphic description of a bank robbery.
  • Dirty Rap: And boy is there ever on this album! "Indian Girl" is the crowning example.
  • Downer Ending: "Children's Story". the teenager gets shot after turning himself in.
    • "Teenage Love": The young couple ends up breaking up after the girl is caught cheating on her boyfriend.
    • "The Moment I Feared": Rick gets arrested for murder and drug trafficking, and gets sodomized in prison.
  • Emasculated Cuckold: Oh Lord, where do we start?
    • This is the central trope used in "Treat Her Like a Prostitute". Highlights include:
      • The first guy celebrating his the upcoming birth of his first child with his fiance, only find out that his girlfriend had sex with one of his friends while he was at work. To make this worse, his "friend" drunkenly told him to his face that she initiated it. Damn. Needless to say, the guy was feeling pretty crushed afterwards.
      • The second guy being a traditional example of getting cuckolded: He comes home to witness his wife getting nailed by the mailman. Capped off by this gem of a line:
      Cover your mouth because you almost choked
      You see the mailman's dick way up your wife's throat!
      • The third verse has a guy getting it on with his wife - who typically doesn't like having sex. Not only does she call her lover by the wrong name ("She says 'I love you, Harold', and your name is Will!"), it turns out she still has a condom inside her from an encounter she had with someone else. Turns out it belonged to Rick himself.
    • In "The Moment I Feared", Rick unwittingly gets seduced by his best friend's girlfriend. The boyfriend catches them and reacts about as well as you'd expect, only to get shot for his troubles.
      She tried to use me, and seduce me
      And at first I wasn't with it
      Then we did it, and we did it, and we did it, and we did it
      She said it was great, she said she was glad we had done it
      The elevator came, and Danny boy was on it!
  • Face on the Cover: Slick Rick is seen on the cover.
  • The Golden Age of Hip Hop: There's few better examples than this album.
  • He's Back!: "The Ruler's Back" invokes this trope.
  • High-School Sweethearts: Deconstructed in "Teenage Love". It initially starts by playing the trope straight, but after enough time passes, the relationship deteriorates badly, with the implication of the relationship becoming very one-sided. Inevitably, the couple breaks up and Rick tells the listeners "If it's not true love, you shouldn't deal with it."
  • Humiliation Conga: From "The Moment I Feared": Rick is beat up at a Boogie Down Productions concert and robbed of his jewellery, despite telling the muggers it was actually fake. After that, he ends up getting seduced by Sarah, his best friend's girlfriend, and actually winds up shooting said best friend after he attacks him when he walked in on them. And then, sometime after this, Rick is busted by cops for several drug charges, and the murder of Sarah, who he killed to get the drugs in the first place. And just as if things couldn't get worse, Rick gets jumped by two inmates in jail, and it doesn't take a genius to figure out what happened next.
  • Indian Maiden: "Indian Girl - An Adult Story" is a sex story about a Native American young woman, with a lot of stereotypical imagery.
  • Intercourse with You: "Indian Girl - An Adult Story" ends with sex:
    She said to him strangely and kind of merry
    "Stop now, or I'll be unable to marry"
    He didn't take her warning
    He rode her till the morning
    He rode that ass till the pussy started yawning
  • Ladies and Germs: Slick Rick begins his song "Mona Lisa" with the introduction "Ladies, gentlemen... and lowlifes."
  • Mythology Gag: In "Mona Lisa", Rick "plays" opposite MC Ricky D, his former alias from his time with Doug E. Fresh's "Get Fresh Crew".
  • Product Placement:
    • "The Moment I Feared"
    Then he was dead two in the head
    I took the cash and the Visas
    • "Kit - What's The Scoop?"
    We stopped at McDonald's, so I could have somethin' to eat
    ''(...) Yeah, lemme get a Big Mac, and a strawberry shake
  • Record Producer: Rick co-produced the entire album alongside Run–D.M.C. producer Jam Master Jay and Public Enemy's famed "Bomb Squad". "Treat Her Like A Prostitute", "Children's Story", "Let's Get Crazy", "Indian Girl", "Mona Lisa", and "Hey Young World" were solely produced by the Ruler himself.
  • Sampling: If you tried to count exactly how many times "Children's Story" was sampled by other artists on your own, your head would spin. Currently, the number is roughly over five hundred.
    • "The Moment I Feared" samples "Funky Drummer" by James Brown. In turn, the song was sampled in "Outta Here" by KRS-One from "Return Of The Boom Bap" and "She Said It Was Great" by Ed O.G. from "Life Of A Kid In The Ghetto".
    • "Indian Girl - An Adult Story" samples Frances Langford's "I'm In The Mood For Love".
    • "Teacher Teacher" samples "You'll Like It Too" by Funkadelic.
    • "Let's Get Crazy" has has Rick sampling himself, placing a section of "The Show" in the middle of the song.
  • Self-Titled Album: Slick Rick's name is mentioned and announced in huge letter type on the cover.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Ruler's Back" opens in a parody of Robin Hood, complete with Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe:
      Hark, who goes yonder?
      It is I, sire, Richard of Nottingham
      Well, speak up man, what is it?
      News from the east, sire, Rick the Ruler has returned!
    • "The Moment I Feared" mentions a concert by Boogie Down Productions in the lyrics.
    • "Indian Girl: An Adult Story" reference the theme song from Davy Crockett - King of the Wild Frontier.
    • During "Mona Lisa" Slick Rick sings a few lines from Nat King Cole's song "Mona Lisa".
      Mona Lisa, so men made you...
      I wear more gold than that man on The A-Team
      (...) Quite polite like Walter Cronkite
      • "Mona Lisa" also ends with a sample from "Walk On By" by Dionne Warwick.
    • Nas' cover for Stillmatic is a homage to The Great Adventures, as Rick is one of Nas' biggest influences.
    • Macy Gray later recorded a "Hey Young World Pt 2" on her album The Id, with Slick Rick providing a guest rap.
  • Spelling Song: "Mona Lisa"
    Let me spell my name out for you, it's Ricky:
    R — Ravishing
    I — Impress
    C — Courageous; so careless
    K — for the Kangols which I've got
    That I wear everyday and
    Y — why not?
  • Spiritual Successor: 1999's The Art of Storytelling, due to it being a return to form to The Great Adventures.
  • STD Immunity: Averted completely in "Indian Girl". Thanks to the fact that he spent most of the song focused on trying to get her to have sex with him, Davy Crockett was in for a shock when he found out Running Rabbit had crabs in her lady parts.
  • Straw Misogynist: He comes across as one on "Treat Her Like a Prostitute".
  • Stupid Statement Dance Mix: a very early example, and a possible Ur-Example. At the end of "Children's Story", a chopped up loop of Rick saying "Knock 'em out the Box, Rick. Knock 'em out, Rick" plays until the end of the song.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Hey Young World" is a sincere, low-key song about teaching kids to stay on the right path and respecting themselves and others. Given that the album opened with "Treat Her Like A Prostitute", it can definitely come across as a surprise.
  • Time Marches On: The following line in "Lick The Balls":
    Who's hittin' rough in '88?