One of the first rap tandems to gain widespread recognition were Hip-Hop legends Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick, who performed alongside each other as members of the Get Fresh Crew and released the timeless, mid-’80s classics “The Show” and “La Di Da Di.”
Over the years, many fans have pondered why Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick, who eventually branched off into successful solo careers, did not continue to create records together, a mystery that Doug E. addressed during a recent interview on the podcast Jalen Rose: Renaissance Man.
“[We were] creating new styles that never existed,” said the Harlem native of the chemistry between himself and Rick, who performed under the name MC Ricky D at the time. “So what happened? … I think personally that we were young. We were two different entities who needed room to breathe.” However, Doug E. maintains that the love remains between the former collaborators and that they are currently on good terms. “We still family. We have grown, and we close.”
Following his run with Doug E. and the Get Fresh Crew, Rick, inked a deal with Def Jam Records, becoming the third artist to sign with the label. Releasing his debut album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, in 1988, the British export would have his career derailed by a 1990 shooting incident. He released The Ruler’s Back in 1991 before serving a five-year prison sentence. Returning in 1994 with the aptly titled Behind Bars, Rick made a triumphant comeback with his fourth studio album, The Art of Storytelling, which debuted atop the Top R&/Hip-Hop Albums chart and achieved gold certification.
Doug E. Fresh, who debuted with Oh, My God! in 1986, would release a succession of albums, including The World’s Greatest Entertainer, Doin’ What I Gotta Do, and Press Play. He would spend the subsequent decades building his legend as one of the greatest live performers in Hip-Hop history. Ripping stages across the globe and performing alongside icons like Prince, Doug E. Fresh has lived up to the moniker he bestowed upon himself with his sophomore album and continues to put on as good of a show as acts decades his junior.
In 2018, Rick, who is now a U.S. citizen, released the single “Snakes of the World Today,” and made his most recent appearance on Westside Gunn’s 2020 drop, Who Made the Sunshine. As a show of homage to late Go-Go pioneer Chuck Brown, Doug E. Fresh released This One’s for Chuck Brown: Doug E. Fresh Salutes The Godfather of Go-Go, his first studio album in more than 25 years. The album features a Go-Go version of he and Rick’s defining hit, “The Show,” which also includes what would be Biz Markie’s last recorded appearance prior to his death.