Def Jam’s Bill Adler Remembers Slick Rick’s The Great Adventures… 25 Years Later
You might know Bill Adler, and you might not. “Ill Badler,” as his maroon Def Jam Records varsity jacket used to read, was the original (and the best) head of Publicity Def Jam ever had. Russell Simmons hired Bill, who would help acts like LL Cool J, Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys, 3rd Bass, and Slick Rick get press. In the days when Rap was a collection of colorful characters, Bill helped those personas come to life in articles, on screen, and more.
In the days since Def Jam, Bill’s published books, he opened his (deeply missed) eyejammie Gallery in Midtown Manhattan, and he’s done a host of cool things that preserve the culture properly.
On Friday, Slick Rick’s debut album The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick turned 25, with a mouth full of gold teeth! Bill penned some meaningful reflection on Da Ruler, the album, and just that special time in Hip-Hop that’s worth your read.
Here’s an excerpt, but check the full essay at Rick’s fan-site:
“Very quickly, Rick became beloved not only for his lyrical flow and sense of humor, but for his fashion style, which reflected his roots in England and Jamaica. From his Kangols to his eyepatch to his gold-and-diamond fronts, and from the truck jewelry around his neck and the rings on his fingers to the Ballys on his feet, Slick Rick looked like no one before him. Tall and slim, he was “a fly brown brother” from head to toe, even if he did say so himself. Today it’s clear that Rick was one of the founding fathers of bling.” – Bill Adler