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Slick Rick Sticks Around

Judge intervenes on rapper’s behalf before deportation

British MC Slick Rick will get another chance to demonstrate he
deserves to stay in the U.S. despite a 1991 attempted murder
conviction. A federal judge blocked the rapper’s impending
deportation Friday, just a day before he was to return to England,
where he is a citizen.

Rick, born Ricky Walters, has lived in the U.S. since he was
eleven, but was to be forced out of the country under a law that
requires deportation of foreigners convicted of violent felonies.
Now thirty-seven, he spent five years in a New York prison after he
shot three people in 1990, including his cousin.

Walter’s case attracted the support of high-profile members of
the hip-hop and political communities — Russell Simmons, Will
Smith and the Rev. Jesse Jackson all spoke out in support of the
rapper, best known for his 1988 debut The Great Adventures of
Slick Rick
. “I think it’s really unfair,” Walters himself told
Rolling Stone. “It doesn’t make sense for a country so
intellectually advanced to allow a family to be ripped apart and be
thrown out of the country.”

Under the terms of his reprieve, Walters will remain in federal
custody in Florida — where he has been since his arrest last June
— until his case can come under further review.

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