Hip Hop pioneers Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh created magic in 1986 with “The Show” and “La Di Da Di” as members of the Get Fresh Crew. Known as MC Ricky D at the time, Slick Rick eventually went on to find unimaginable solo success as the third artist signed to Def Jam Recordings, leaving fans to wonder what happened between Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick The Ruler.
In a recent interview with sports analyst Jalen Rose, Doug E. Fresh was asked about their split and surmised their young ages were a factor. After all, they were in their late teens and early 20s when they blew up.
“[We were] creating new styles that never existed,” he said. “So what happened? … I think personally that we were young. We were two different entities who needed room to breathe.” But those days are long gone and now he says, “We still family. We have grown, and we close.”
Of course, both are legends in their own right. Slick Rick and Doug E. Fresh have built comfortable lives for themselves along the way. They are two of the most sampled artists in music history, with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Beyoncé, Mariah Carey, the Beastie Boys, TLC, Nas and Kanye West among the many who sampled their work.
In an interview with HipHopDX last October, Doug E. Fresh talked about his latest album, This One’s For Chuck Brown: Doug E. Fresh Salutes The Godfather of Go-Go. It marked his first album in over 26 years. As fate would have it, he wound up with what would become Biz Markie’s last verse for the Go-Go version of “The Show.”
“I didn’t know that this would be the last recording of Biz,” he said at the time. “Biz would make you laugh, joke around, make you feel good. I appreciate it. He was a good brother, so his spirit will live on.”
As for dedicating the album to The Godfather Of Go-Go Chuck Brown, he explained, “Chuck Brown is the creator of go-go, and he should be acknowledged as the creator of go-go. A lot of people use go-go in their music, but Chuck Brown very rarely gets the acknowledgement. So I think that I was asked to write this song so that Chuck Brown could get his due respect for what it was that he contributed to the world of music and making people happy. And the timing is unbelievable because I never thought that there would be a category that represents go-go.
“It blew my mind because I didn’t write it for that reason. It wasn’t like a strategic plan for me to get an album into the go-go category. When I submitted it into the go-go category, all of the people from the Grammys was like, ‘Really? Doug E Fresh is doing a Roots record? What is that? I can’t … I didn’t expect that.’ But hey, man, I got to bring the Grammy home for Chuck’s family.”
Like Slick Rick, Doug E. Fresh is consistently praised by their fellow legends like Nas, who in 2018 said, “I’m the greatest Virgo to ever live … besides Doug E. Fresh” as he swayed to Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature.” Despite Nas’ inebriated state at the time, it’s still a testament to the impact Doug E. Fresh (and Slick Rick) has had on Hip Hop culture.