Behind Bars (Slick Rick album)

Behind Bars is the third studio album by the British-American rapper Slick Rick, released in 1994 on Def Jam Recordings.[11][12]

Behind Bars
Slick Rick Behind Bars.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 22, 1994
GenreHip hop
Slick Rick chronology
The Ruler's Back
Behind Bars
The Art of Storytelling
Singles from Behind Bars
  1. "Behind Bars"
    Released: November 8, 1994
  2. "Sittin' in My Car"
    Released: February 14, 1995
Professional ratings
Review scores
Chicago Sun-Times[2]
Robert Christgau(choice cut)[3]
The Cincinnati PostB+[4]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music[5]
Entertainment WeeklyB[6]
(The New) Rolling Stone Album Guide[7]
The Source[8]
Spin Alternative Record Guide7/10[9]
USA Today[10]

Behind Bars peaked at number 51 on the Billboard 200, and number 11 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album spawned two singles, "Behind Bars" and "Sittin' in My Car", which made it to number 12 and number 11 on the Hot Rap Singles, respectively.


The album contains production from Vance Wright, Pete Rock, Large Professor, Easy Mo Bee, and Warren G. Doug E. Fresh, Nice & Smooth, and Warren G make guest appearances on a few tracks.[13] Like The Ruler's Back, Rick recorded the album while on furlough from prison, and the music was constructed around his vocals—on some tracks, years after being recorded.[14][13][15] Part of the album was also recorded during a 1993 work release period.[16]

Critical receptionEdit

Trouser Press wrote that the album "touches on the live-from-inside chill of an Iceberg Slim novel in the title track, but otherwise doesn’t mention [Rick's incarceration] ... Rick doesn’t seem very connected to the music, but his complaints ring with the rancid air of preoccupation by someone with too much time to obsess about his frustrations."[14] Vibe thought that "Rick's legendary street brilliance and sparkling, charming wit can even be distilled from behind bars."[13] The Independent praised Rick's "worldly, laconic delivery and freewheeling, unexpurgated tales of everyday B-boy tribulations."[17] The Spin Alternative Record Guide opined: "When the fantasy and reality collapse into one another ... the effect is a hip-hop revelation, opening a new space in the black male autobiographical narrative."[9]

Track listingEdit

1."Behind Bars"Prince Paul3:25
2."All Alone (No One to Be with)"Vance Wright4:05
3."Sittin' in My Car" (featuring Doug E. Fresh)Doug E. Fresh, Vance Wright (co.)3:47
4."A Love That's True, pt. 1"Slick Rick3:55
5."Cuz It's Wrong"Easy Mo Bee3:23
6."Let's All Get Down" (featuring Nice & Smooth)Greg Nice3:41
7."I'm Captive"Pete Rock4:11
8."Get a Job"Pete Rock4:03
9."A Love That's True, pt. 2"Slick Rick2:20
10."It's a Boy (Remix)"Large Professor4:01
11."Behind Bars (Dum Ditty Dum Mix)" (featuring Warren G)Warren G3:22


  • Slick Rick - performer, producer
  • Warren G - performer, producer, remixing
  • Nice & Smooth - performer, producer
  • Doug E. Fresh - performer
  • Vance Wright - producer
  • Prince Paul - producer
  • Pete Rock - producer, remixing
  • Large Professor - producer, remixing
  • Easy Mo Bee - producer
  • Al "Purple" Hayes - bass
  • Joe Quinde - engineer, mixing, mixing engineer
  • Yianni Papadopoulos - engineer, mixing
  • Darroll Gustamachio - engineer
  • Doug Wilson - engineer
  • Mike Glowik - assistant engineer, mixing assistant
  • Leroy Southwell - assistant engineer
  • Rich July - remixing, mixing, mixing engineer
  • Djinji Brown - remixing, mixing engineer
  • Greg Geitzenauer - remixing, mixing engineer
  • Epitome of Scratch - remixing



  1. ^ "Behind Bars - Slick Rick | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic" – via
  2. ^ Abdul-Adil, Jaleel (29 January 1995). "SPIN CONTROL". Chicago Sun-Times. Showcase. p. 11.
  3. ^ "Robert Christgau: CG: slick rick".
  4. ^ Wilson, Ken (12 January 1995). "Slick Rick 'Behind Bars'". The Cincinnati Post. Perspective Extra. p. 20.
  5. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Vol. 7. MUZE. p. 525.
  6. ^ "Behind Bars".
  7. ^ (The New) Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. 2004. p. 744.
  8. ^ Abdurraqib, Hanif (2019). Go Ahead in the Rain: Notes to A Tribe Called Quest. University of Texas Press. p. 110.
  9. ^ a b Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. 1995. p. 359.
  10. ^ Jones IV, James T. (21 December 1994). "Blige exposes `Life' anguish // Slick Rick `Behind Bars'". USA Today. p. 6D.
  11. ^ "Slick Rick | Biography & History". AllMusic.
  12. ^ "Album Reviews". Billboard. 106 (50): 78. 10 December 1994.
  13. ^ a b c Jenkins, Sacha (December 1994). "Revolutions". Vibe. 2 (10): 119–120.
  14. ^ a b "Slick Rick". Trouser Press. Retrieved 19 June 2021.
  15. ^ Coker, Cheo H. (9 March 1995). "Recordings--Behind Bars by Slick Rick". Rolling Stone (703): 67.
  16. ^ Pareles, Jon (11 December 1994). "POP VIEW: How Real Is 'Realness' In Rap?". The New York Times. p. A34.
  17. ^ Gill, Andy (3 February 1995). "ALBUMS : Reupholstered in plush velvet, but wearing thin". The Independent. p. 27.
  18. ^ "Slick Rick Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  19. ^ "Slick Rick Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard.
  20. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums – Year-End 1995". Billboard. Retrieved 14 March 2021.

External linksEdit