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Rappin' With The Rickster


Rappin With The Rickster

If Ricky Powell’s name is familiar to you at all, it is probably because of the Beastie Boys line, “Homebody, throw in the towel – your girl got dicked by Ricky Powell!”  However, Powell was an unsung hero of late-eighties and early-nineties hip-hop culture in New York City, a unique personality with a singular style and intricate lexicon, The Rickster was close friends with The Beasties and toured with them often, earning for himself the nickname ‘The Fourth Beastie Boy.’

In addition to being a hobnobber, journalist and notable photographer, Ricky hosted a public-access TV show entitled Rappin’ With The Rickster that ran during the early nineties, where he interviewed anybody and everybody, from his famous friends like Sonic Youth and Lawrence Fishbourne to homeless people wearing plastic bags on their heads, all using the same gregarious, personable style.

Basically a visual mixtape compiling the best bits of the six-year series, highlights of disc one are plentiful.  They include Ricky asking Run-DMC if they’re aware of the existence of milk, Billy Preston awkwardly pressuring Ricky into giving him his sunglasses, Ricky frantically playing basketball by himself while the Beastie Boys jam in the background, Ricky smoking weed with Eazy-E while Eazy raps along to his own record – actually, there’s a lot of footage of Ricky smoking weed, but that just adds to Ricky’s shaggy dog charm as a host.

Only slightly less interesting is Disc two, which features a modern-day version of Rappin’ With The Rickster filmed specifically for this edition, as well as a slideshow of Ricky’s photography throughout the years with the Rickster’s commentary.

Highly recommended for fans of hip-hop and nostalgia buffs alike, this set serves to show that celebrities are just like us – none of us are as interesting as Ricky Powell.

Rating: 9