Spin - 7/99, p.1317 (out of 10)
- "...wierdly charming, like seeing your uncle sing songs from the Old Country at a wedding....Out of nowhere, he's back in the game."
Entertainment Weekly - 5/28/99, p.145
"...his rhymes flow like ghetto short stories and his breathy singsong delivery remains a hip-hop national treasure." - Rating: B+
Q - 11/99, p.1343 stars out of 5
- "...A straightforward...set based on simple beats and bare instrumentation....Interesting, if not exactly essential."
CMJ - 6/28/99, p.27
"...[THE ART OF STORYTELLING] finds the silver-tongued urban bard surrounded by a host of '90s hip-hop royalty...but the album's best moments come when Rick's distinctive drawl produces the engaging allegories and pretentious poetics hip-hop has sorely missed..."
Vibe - 6,7/99, p.178
"...This time around, the Ruler really is back....Rick spins unique couplets, melds vocal inflections and breaks those nasal vocals into song....Party numbers...bounce like the participants in a San Francisco car chase. Melodic jams...pull you into a smooth, easy bob."
The Source - 6/99, p.207
4 Mics - "...Ricky Walters...has consistently moved the crowd....[H]is maturity as an MC manifests itself in more ways than one....Slick the griot proves he's still as animated as the fluorescent persona he created..."
Billboard (6/5/99, p.19) - "...ART finds Rick in a buoyant mood and a mature frame of mind, dropping reality science along with classic battle rhymes and party jams..."
Personnel includes: Slick Rick, Snoop Doggy Dogg, OutKast, Canibus, Nas, Kid Capri, Raekwon, Q-Tip, DJ Rev. Run, Redman, Kid Capri, Peter Gunz, S&S, Bugsy, Ed Lover, Doug E. Fresh (rap vocals); Vada Nobles, Phalon Alexander (various instruments); Joe Kelley, Thomas Hammond, Corey Rooney (keyboards); Doug E. Fresh (beat box); DJ Ty Boogie (scratches).
Producers include: DJ Clarke Kent, Large Professor, S&S, Kid Kapri, Tyrone Fyffe.
Engineers include: Mike Anzelowitz, Kenny Ortiz, Joshua Butler.
Recording information: Bearsville Sound Studios, Bearsville, NY; Cosmos Stu; Hit Factory, New York, NY; Patchwerk Recordings, Atlanta, GA; Quad Studios, Nashville, TN.
Make no mistake hip-hop fans: with THE ART OF STORYTELLING, Slick Rick is definitely back in the game. The man who once upon a time made treating your girl like a prostitute sound like an okay thing to do, the one who can make you laugh, disgusted and pensive (sometimes all in one song) is back with an album that possesses all the characteristics that made him one of the more respected rap artists of his time. The arrogance, the ability to use words in a way that is not just auditory but visual as well, the unique sense of storytelling and humor--all of these qualities are evident on this album. Slick Rick demonstrates here that even though you can silence a good storyteller for a while, you can never take away his ability to captivate an audience.