On this day, May 25, in hip-hop history...

Def Jam Recordings
Def Jam Recordings

1999: British-American rapper Slick Rick dropped his fourth studio album The Art of Storytelling on May 25, 1999.

With production from DJ Clark Kent and Kid Capri and features from the likes of Nas, Doug E. Fresh, Raekwon, Redman, Big Boi and Snoop Dogg, this Def Jam Records release was a testament to Slick Rick's legendary status in the game. A pioneer of hip-hop's golden age, Rick proved he could still hang with the young bloods and exhibited his signature lyrical backflips with jovial bounce. The darkly comical skits and songs on this 21-track LP (with three bonus tracks) show off Rick's poetic style with tracks like "Street Talkin'," "Unify" "Memories" and "We Turn It On."

To date, The Art of Storytelling is Rick's most successful album, peaking at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 and going on to be certified gold by the RIAA a month after it dropped.

Since The Art of Storytelling, Rick had to take a break from music to deal with amnesty issues. After a 23-year battle with the U.S. government linking back to a crime committed in his youth, the British-born MC who moved to the U.S. when he was 11 was officially declared a U.S. citizen in 2016. Rick has since started making music again and traveling freely. In 2016, the rapper visited the U.K. for the first time in 31 years and visited Shyne in Belize. In 2018, Rick was inducted into the Bronx Walk of Fame.

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