After over two decades of protracted legal battles, iconic rapper Slick Rick has finally become an American citizen. Rick, who was born in London and moved with his family to the Bronx when he was eleven, was officially granted his citizenship today in a ceremony in New York. “I am so proud of this moment – and so honored to finally become an American citizen,” said Slick Rick 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.”
It hasn’t been an easy road for him. Rick was incarcerated at the height of his career back in 1990 in a self-defense shooting of his cousin and former bodyguard. He spent five years in prison before he was released, but the charges continued to hang over his head for years. He was re-arrested in 2001 on his way back into the country from a Caribbean cruise and threatened with deportation due to his past felony conviction.
He spent years fighting attempts at deporting him. Eventually, former New York Gov. David Paterson granted him a full pardon in 2008 due to his positive contributions to the community since his release. Now, the rapper and longtime New York City resident has officially been granted full US citizenship.
It’s great to see things work out for Rick, especially after all the contributions he’s made to hip-hop with albums like The Art of Storytelling and The Great Adventures of Slick Rick. Congratulations to him.