After 40 years on U.S. soil, British-born emcee Slick Rick is finally an American citizen.
Born in Britain and raised in Brooklyn, Slick Rick, real name Ricky Walters -- one of the forefathers of hip-hop -- has finally been granted U.S. citizenship. "I am so proud of this moment," said the rapper also known as The Ruler, "And so honored to finally become an American citizen."
Slick Rick's path to citizenship had long been hindered after he pled guilty to two counts of attempted murder in 1991 and went on to serve six years in prison. After Rick completed parole in 2001, the judge decided to throw away all deportation proceedings against him, though his criminal record still made it nearly impossible to embark on an ordinary path toward citizenship.
In 2008, Rick was pardoned by then-New York governor David Paterson, who called the "Children's Story" rapper "a symbol of rehabilitation for many young people."
Rick has two children who are U.S. citizens, and his new status as an American will allow him to travel and perform out of the country without the chance of being turned away upon his return to the U.S. He still intends to hold on to his British citizenship.