If a recording artist can put out a classic album, it's like almost winning the lottery. Everybody knows it, everybody loves it, and the music will last for generations to come. The flipside is: everything you do afterward will be compared against it. Slick Rick already had two landmark songs ("The Show" and "La Di Da Di," both with Doug E. Fresh) when he released his first album, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, in 1988. With his chilled-out, accented flow, impeccable storytelling skills, signature eyepatch, and gold-drenched, Mr. T–times–10 fashion sense, Slick Rick became an international sensation. That album topped the charts and spawned several quintessential singles. Then, at the height of his fame, Slick Rick was arrested and convicted for attempted murder; he spent five years in prison. The Ruler's Back was recorded when he was out on bail awaiting trial and was far less successful than his debut. Regardless, this is a rock-solid, if woefully overlooked, album that slipped between the cracks. Produced by Slick and longtime collaborator Vance Wright, it's a forgotten gem from one of the best lyricists ever.