Slick Rick Speaks About How His Controversial Song "Treat Her Like a Prostitute" Would Be Received in 2019
With two new projects on the horizon, hip-hop’s premiere storyteller speculates potential reaction to his brand of literary lyrics.
Slick Rick has officially announced plans to return to his throne. In an interview with UK outlet NME‘s Will Lavin, the 54-year-old London native discussed Brexit, American reception to rappers from the UK, and the challenges of releasing new projects in 2019.
During the Q&A, the topic of one of his more controversial works, “Treat Her Like a Prostitute,” arose. The song is the opening track from his debut album, 1988’s The Great Adventures of Slick Rick. Lanvin acknowledged there was some backlash upon its release, but asked Rick if he ever wondered what it would be like to debut it in the age of social media and #metoo. Rick acknowledged that critics have the right to their opinion, and ultimately deferred to his humorous and fictitious approach to songwriting.
“Well, social media is always going to be social media,” Rick replied. “If you interpret it as misogynistic you have the right to your opinion. But if you’re from the element, the culture, the essence, you know it’s just humour and fun and entertainment…”
The track is assuredly problematic, and especially by 2019’s standards. The three verses are hypothetical stanzas written in the third person perspective, with the Mitcham MC making a cheeky cameo in the final act. However, despite mostly removing himself from the narrative, the title, chorus — and effectively, the message — is certainly misogynistic. Rick plans to release two more projects in the near future. If any new material echoes similar sentiments, don’t expect much of a fight from Rick either way.
“I don’t believe that the culture I come from took it as overly misogynistic,” he concluded. “I thought they took it as three humorous stories about infidelity or whatever, like an angry comedian.”
Rick hinted at the possibility of new music as recently as 2016 but has officially confirmed the forthcoming release of entire projects to Lanvin. He did not, however, announce potential release dates.