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.