Slick Rick might be the greatest storyteller in all of hip-hop history. Seriously, the guy could have written screenplays, his mind was so vivid. “Children’s Story” is widely (and correctly) cited as one of The Ruler’s most intriguing and impactful stories. The tale of a stick-up kid who gets his comeuppance resonated with hip-hop (and R&B) fans, and the song was a top ten hit on Billboard’s Black singles chart during a time when the upper echelon of that list was quite uncommon when it came to rap records. It’s catchy (and memorable) enough that I can recite it word for word (and I’m definitely not the only person who can do this.)
Hip-hop fans of a certain vintage also know that Slick Rick essentially lived out those lyrics a few years later. Life imitating art, indeed.
I do very slightly prefer the video/single version embedded below. Production is a little fuller. The one gripe I have with The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (an amazing album) is that the production is kind of tinny. A remastering is definitely overdue.