Slick Rick has not released a new album in more than two decades — but if a respected Hip Hop photographer is to be believed, he’ll be ending the dry spell very soon.
Jonathan Mannion, who has shot more than 300 Hip Hop album covers throughout the course of his career, took to his Instagram on Thursday (September 7) to reveal that he’d met with the “La Di Da Di” rapper and learned about the upcoming new heat.
“REASONING. This man has lived a helluva life to reach this current calm,” he wrote in the caption. “Blessed to have received the call that the new album was on the way… a fresh new approach to tunes, now with newly created legendary photos to match. We collaborate well.
“As I did the first time that I ever photographed the incomparable @therulernyc in 1998, I brought champagne to toast him. @moetchandon always flowing. I was also ‘knighted’ again… a renewal of vows, of sorts… with nearly every piece of his legendary gold, platinum, diamond encrusted heavy metal available weighing down my neck. Beyond honored!”
Back in February, Slick Rick received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Grammys.
Performing rights organization BMI hosted a pre-Grammy event in celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hip Hop and of Slick Rick’s recognition ahead of the 65th Annual Grammy Awards.
While posing with the legendary British MC, Busta Rhymes encouraged those in attendance to acknowledge how significant the moment was for the culture. “This the Godfather,” Busta said as Slick Rick looked on. “Lifetime Achievement Grammy, the win is secured. Say that shit in unison.”
In January, the Recording Academy released its list of Special Merit Awards honorees, who were set to be recognized during a separate Grammy Week ceremony that also took place on Friday.
During the event, Slick Rick received a 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award alongside Bobby McFerrin, Nirvana, Ma Rainey, Nile Rodgers, The Supremes, and Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson of the group Heart.
In addition to the seven Lifetime Achievement Awards, three Trustee Awards, two Technical Grammy Awards and the Grammy for Best Song For Social Change were all handed out during the Special Merit Awards Ceremony.
“Each creator on this list has made an impact on our industry — from technical to creative achievements — representing the breadth of music’s diverse community,” said the Academy’s CEO Harvey Mason Jr. in a statement. “We’re excited to celebrate this group of legends that continues to inspire and shape the music world.”