Legendary rapper Slick Rick will head overseas for a performance at the Out4FAME Festival in Cologne, Germany on July 31 since obtaining his U.S. citizenship earlier this year.
Rick’s appearance at Out4FAME also marks his first international gig since 1990. “I am honored to have been invited to perform at the Out4FAME festival,” said Rick in a statement. “[T]o be sharing a stage with my emcee brothers, at one the most highly-regarded hip-hop festivals outside of the United States will be unforgettable. I am looking forward to checking out the German culture, and performing my German fans.”
This announcement comes after Slick Rick became an American citizen in April, ending a drawn-out 23-year-long battle with the United States Department of Homeland Security. After serving three and a half years in prison for shooting his cousin following threats of violence and extortion (he also spent four non-consecutive years locked up under threat of deportation), Rick was granted a rare unconditional pardon in 2008 by then New York Governor David Paterson, who acknowledged Slick Rick’s rehabilitation and contributions to the community through anti-violence outreach.
The U.K.-born Rick will maintain U.K. sovereignty with dual-citizenship status.
Rick has been open about the frustration he felt and uncertainty he faced during the 23-year process. “It can be very frustrating, but some things are out of your hands,” Rick told Billboard in an interview earlier this year. “You have to take it one step at a time, make sure you have the right people behind you supporting you, and you have the right attorneys, and everyone you can afford doing the best for you under the circumstances.”