This year, Slick Rick will join the short list of hip hop figures who have received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy. Rick shared the news in a social media post on Thursday (Jan. 5).
He wrote, “To be receiving this honor is incredible, and to be in marvelous company with my fellow inductees is humbling. God is good. All the time!” Also included in the class of 2023’s recipients are The Supremes, Bobby McFerrin, Nile Rodgers, the late Blues singer Ma Rainey, Nirvana, and Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. Public Enemy and Run DMC previously reached the milestone. This will mark the first time in the MC’s 30-year career that he has been recognized by the Grammys.
According to the Academy, the award is bestowed upon artists who, “during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.” The UK-born rapper is considered the most sampled hip hop artist in history. He “set the pace for rap’s past, present and future,” said the organization. Slick Rick is renowned for his lyrical storytelling. His catalog includes classic hits such as “La-Di-Da-Di,” “Children’s Story” and “The Show.” His songs have been used more than 800 times to craft records for the likes of Beyoncé, Snoop Dogg and J. Cole.
The awards will be handed out during the Special Merit Award Ceremony on February 4th. The following evening, the Grammy Awards will be held. Comedian Trevor Noah is returning for his third consecutive year to handle hosting duties. The former “Daily Show” host and LL Cool J are the only hosts to helm music’s biggest celebration for three years in a row in the past 30 years.
In an exclusive interview with Billboard, Noah said what he loves most about the gig is the opportunity to discover new music. “I become a fan of a new artist every single time. I come in and then I meet this new artist, and all of a sudden, here I am going, ‘Who are the Black Pumas?’ It introduces you to music that you maybe wouldn’t have been [exposed to].”