Soundbites: Slick Rick to Play Sugarbush Resort | Music News + Views | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Soundbites: Slick Rick to Play Sugarbush Resort


Published March 6, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.

  • Courtesy Photo
  • Slick Rick

Slippery Slopes

One of the most unusual local concerts of the year — maybe of the decade — is happening this weekend at Sugarbush Resort in Warren. On Saturday, March 9, the fourth annual Rock the Bush concert takes over the Reks, a small pub located within the Sugarbush Village. The headliner? Slick Rick the Ruler, one of the most influential MCs of all time.

Um, what? How the eff did this happen? Why is one of the major players from hip-hop's golden age performing at a small-time operation like Reks? (No offense to the Reks. It seems like a nice place but also highly unlikely to host an international superstar.) Still, the show's lineup is actually not that far-fetched, given that two of the other artists on the bill have previously performed at Rock the Bush and are associates of Slick Rick: heavy-hitting producer Marley Marl and rapper Craig G, who was part of Marley Marl's Juice Crew.

Also on the bill is Grammy Award-winning rapper Mr. Cheeks of the Lost Boyz. As '90s stars, Lost Boyz don't really fit with the '80s throwback theme. But, all in all, the lineup is enough to make any fan of classic rap giddy.

I tried but failed to snag an interview with Slick Rick — real name Richard Martin Lloyd Walters. It's a shame, though, because I have some burning questions that I'd like answered. Namely, does the British-born freestyler stand by songs such as "Treat Her Like a Prostitute"? The first track from his 1988 debut LP, The Great Adventures of Slick Rick, with all of its tongue-in-cheek yet overtly misogynistic rhymes, has not aged particularly well, lyrically speaking. But I would have loved to hear him out if he wanted to defend it.

His guest spot on fellow Brits Morcheeba's 2002 deep cut "Women Lose Weight" is equally hard to swallow in 2019, despite the track's satirical bent and admittedly clever-as-hell rhymes. And this is coming from someone who loves — well, once loved — that particular song. (While I'm fantasizing, I guess I'd also want to ask Morcheeba vocalist Skye Edwards what she thought of the track at the time and how she thinks of it now. It's as much her tune as it is Slick Rick's — perhaps more so.)

It's a tricky thing to take pop-cultural artifacts out of context, and we should be cautious in measuring past music and other art forms with today's cultural yardstick. It's almost irrational to do so, because we can't change art that's already been made. We can only decide how to view it now, or whether to view it at all. To wit: "Women Lose Weight" is no longer on my turn-of-the-century trip-hop playlist, but I can't unilaterally declare it offensive. I can, however, say it's offensive to me.

If you're planning to head out to this show, be prepared to drop a pretty penny — 11,000 pretty pennies, actually. That's right. The price of admission to this rather exclusive show is a whopping $110. Perhaps the concert's target demo is well-heeled vacationers with excess money to burn, not local hip-hop heads. But who knows? Maybe some die-hard Slick Rick fans will turn up in the Mad River Valley willing to shell out the big bucks. Should be an interesting show, to say the least.


  • Courtesy Of Kayhl Cooper

Burlington neo-soul outfit JUPTR will host an album-release party for their debut, Echo, on Saturday, March 9, at Nectar's. The five-piece band, which features members of local groups smalltalker, the Renegade Groove and defunct psych-pop outfit Madaila, has not released any recorded tunes since its inception in 2017. Needless to say, anticipation is high.

Speaking of album releases, synthwave band Night Protocol are gearing up to release their debut LP, Tears in the Rain. They'll celebrate all things '80s, and the album's unveiling, on Saturday at Last Stop Sports Bar in Winooski. Check out the Seven Days music section for a review in coming weeks.

Night Protocol - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Night Protocol

March Madness officially kicks off today — Wednesday, March 6, the street date of this issue — at the Vermont Comedy Club in Burlington. The bracket-style improv competition pits dozens of Vermont's finest improvisers against one another in a hilarious competition. The multiday event continues most Wednesday and Sunday evenings in March, culminating with the final smackdown on Sunday, March 24.

Keep an eye out for pop-up events at Orlando's Bar and Lounge, the newest addition to the Queen City's increasingly badass assortment of nightclubs. The new live music venue, located on Lawson Lane in the partially subterranean lair that formerly housed Magnolia Bistro, isn't open daily yet. Currently, it's hosting one-off affairs to which you can gain access by following the club on social media. Hopefully, we'll have more to tell you about the new venue soon. m

Listening In

If I were a superhero, my superpower would be the ability to get songs stuck in other people's heads. Here are five songs that have been stuck in my head this week. May they also get stuck in yours. Follow sevendaysvt on Spotify for weekly playlists with tunes by artists featured in the music section.

Imbibe, "Mirage"

Evan Voytas, "I Run With You, Spirit Animal"

First Class, "Beach Baby"

Gary Wright, "Dream Weaver"

Snake River Conspiracy, "You and Your Friend"