Slick Rick, the English hip-hop legend, finally received finally became an American citizen on April 15, after 23 years of legal process.
The rapper pioneer, with an eye patch, took the oath during a ceremony to say, “I am so proud of this moment – and so honored to finally become an American citizen,” he said in a press release.
“This has been a long time coming for me, and I am relieved to finally put this long chapter behind me. I want to thank everyone – my family, friends, and fans – who have supported me and stuck by me over these 23 years. I am truly blessed – and stay tuned, I will have more to announce soon,” Rick added.
The process of getting the U.S citizenship
26 years ago, the famed lyricist, named Ricky Martin Lloyd Walters, while being in New York, was imprisoned because of his cousin’s shooting. Even when Rick claimed he acted in self-defense, he was found guilty of attempted second-degree murder and was sent to prison.
David A. Paterson, former governor, back in 2008 forgave the artists, but he still was under the threat of being deported or even spending time in an immigration detention center.
The 51-year-old rapper was a legal resident when his family emigrated from the U.K. to The Bronx – he was 11 – and he was never deported, but it still was a hard fight that took more than two decades for Rick to be approved for citizenship in the U.S, which includes his U.K. sovereignty.
After his family moved to the Bronx, he started rapping with Doug E. Fresh and the Get Fresh Crew. In 1998, his debut album The Great Adventures of Slick Rick hit No.1 on the R&B/hip-hop charts.
Slick Rick is a Grammy-nominated, English-born performer. He is considered as the most successful British-American rapper in music history and is well known for his talent when it comes to writing songs. He has four albums: The Great Adventures of Slick Rick (1988), The Ruler’s Back (1991), Behind Bars (1994) and The Art of Storytelling (1999). He has collaborated with big ones in the industry, such as -Z, Missy Elliot and Aaliyah and Outkast.