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"The Ruler's Back" was released in 1991 and came as the second album from the London-born, Bronx raised MC, Slick Rick. A rushed piece, it was recorded quickly before he would be taken to prison for an attempted murder, and sees that he attempts to keep the flow of things going after coming out with a classic album the first time around (with "The Great Adventures of Slick Rick").
Keeping thing on-trend with the fast-paced Breakbeats and overall hyped production, we see that here we get a jam that has Ricky D remaining in his cool and relaxed state as he delivers the rhymes on this one. Sampling from Run-DMC and his work alongside Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew, we see that he does damage as he increases the speed of the approach on the rhymes and shows that he wants to do thing differently this time around.
2."I Shouldn't Have Done It"
Using some clear J.B.s breaks, we see that this one, a track that dropped as one of the album's singles, this one has him showing just how well his storytelling is (the key elelemt that made him stand out from the point when he made an impact upon the Hip Hop world in the mid-eighties. This is a fresh tune from him and has him relating things all to himself this time around, where in the past it was all done in the third-person.
Opening this one up with a Public Enemy's Flava Flav call, we see that here we get a pretty fresh one coming out from him. Although I have to say it seemed as though things were slightly slipping here, it is still a strong one as we see that here he comes out with a complex one that has him layering his rhymes so he's able to put across his tales as effectively as possible and come up with the goods.
On this one he goes off over the "Impeach Th President" break and whenever its used its impossible to not get taken over and brought right into the mix of things, and this is just what happens here as the drumloop grabs your attention and gives Slick Rick the chance to go off with his flows which focus things around an adapt Moses-relate story. It comes together well for him and stands as a big tone for him as he plays around with the speed of his rhymes and the approach.
On this one we see that he gets over some seventies Funk guitar wah-wahs, and it sets it off nicely, but it seemed as though from that point we were thrown into the thing with great immediacy and weren't given the time to adapt to a rather different thing from him before he takes us into another story and comes with one that has him coming with a humorous tune that has Native America's as its characters.
6."Mistakes Of A Woman In Love With Other Men"
We finally get a chance to relax a little as we have one from him where the pace of things is relaxed to let him fit in many more rhymes, and not feel as though he's forced to conform with the ways of the production. With more time to work with, he does some laid-back rhymes and mixes with with some more speedier stuff to match the trends of the time as he speaks on a rather intense scenario that he performs well.
The album opens up once more as the fast-paced breaks come into effect and I felt as though it was nice to see the contrast between the two of the tunes and bring you in with another story. Although by this time it may be a little too much to be taken into so many tales that you have to connect with, I think that it shows just how well he's able to work with his rhymes and take you right in with the vivid descriptions and his role of acting out all the dialogue. This one ends with him singing, as he has in the past, before we are given a heavy instrumental.
On this one we see that it appears as though Slick is allowing others to take control of things as after producing pretty much the whole of his first album alone (with a little aid from Jam Master Jay and Public Enemy's Bomb Squad), this one has the beats taken in a direction that you wouldn't expect of his work. I felt that it made it just a little harder to connect with, as The Ruler's flows assures you its not going too far away from where he's been in the past.
9."It's A Boy"
After a track that had him going out with rhymes which focus upon all he offers to the Hip Hop world, this one has him doing a track of that type, but going about it in a bit of a different world. He used again jumps in over the "Impeach The President" break from The Honeydrippers as he comes out with a track that has him running through his young years from the point when he was born for a fun one.
The funky sample that he's made to rhyme off seems to be a nice change to the harsh breaks that we've had on pretty much every other tune up to this point on the thing and it sets it off nicely as he gets down to things and takes the listeners into his world once again. I felt as though this one stood out quite a bit and although it doesn't really do that much that others do, it brings more energy to the thing.
Using more samples from his work as a featured guest on Doug E. Fresh and The get Fresh Crew's work, this one sees that he comes out with a very different one as we see that he gets on over some faux-Reggae dubs. Its another one that I felt your ears are boun d to be drawn towards as we see that here he slows the pace right down and takes control with his rhyming couplets and rather simplistic approach this time.
12."Slick Rick - The Ruler"
The album comes to close with a track I really didn't expect to get out of Slick Rick as we see that the producers completely take over and come out with a tune that takes it in the Hip-House direction. To be honest, if it was anyone other that Slick Rick being sampled amongst this clean House production, then I'm sure I wouldn't be as accepting of this kind of thing, but I felt that it was a bad choice to end the album in this way (even though it had been seen elsewhere quite a bit around this time).
You can tell that this album was a bit of a rushed-job, but in spite of this I felt that things came together well as MC Ricky D manages to come out with something that features lots of his interesting lyrical manipulations and storytelling to make an album that you wouldn't really feel sounded like anything that serious was going on behind-the-scenes.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 I Shouldn't Have Done It
6 Mistakes Of A Woman In Love With Other Men
9 It's A Boy
10 Top Cat
12 Slick Rick-The Rule