La Di Da Di
by Doug E. Fresh (featuring Slick Rick)

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Songfacts®:

  • This hip-hop classic was released as the B-side to "The Show" by Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew, another influential track that was re-mixed and included on Fresh's 1986 album, Oh, My God!. Against the backdrop of Fresh's beatboxed instrumental, MC Ricky D (later known as Slick Rick) details his daily practice of getting cleaned up and ready to party.
  • Fresh invited Rick to join the Get Fresh Crew in 1984 after watching him participate in a rap battle in the Bronx. The pair wrote "The Show" and "La Di Da Di" to take with them on the contest circuit and warm up the crowds at shows. Fresh recalled: "It was something fun to make people laugh and have a good time. You know, sittin' in a room, coming up with stuff, figuring out how we could break the rhyme up and all of that."

    When the mixtape started taking off on the streets, Fresh's label took notice and decided to put out an official record.
  • The double-sided single received international acclaim, and Ricky D's storytelling skills caught the attention of Def Jam, a new hip-hop label co-founded by Rick Rubin in 1984. Adopting the name Slick Rick, the London-born rapper became the third artist to sign with the label. In 1988, he released his solo debut album, The Great Adventures Of Slick Rick, featuring the hit "Children's Story."
  • Thanks to its clever lyrics and sing-song turns of phrase, this is one of the most-sampled tracks of all time. According to the database WhoSampled, various pieces of the tune have shown up in more than 1,000 tracks, including hits like the Beastie Boys' "Hold It, Now Hit It," Color Me Badd's "I Wanna Sex You Up," The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Hypnotize," Naughty By Nature's "O.P.P.," Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop" and Beyonce's "Party."
  • We learn some basic facts about Slick Rick in the lyrics. La di da di, he likes to party. Tick tock, and he won't stop - and because he's sampled so often, he probably won't have to. "It helps pay the bills, you know?" he told The Guardian in 2016. "But it's probably true, especially cos of 'La Di Da Di.' The vocals are clear and easy to sample.'"
  • Back in his early days of DJing in New York in the early '90s, this was a staple of "Uptown Funk" hitmaker Mark Ronson's set. "It's literally, like, Chapter 1 of the hip-hop deejay bible," he told NPR's TED Radio Hour. "And it's an incredible song because it's just a beatbox and a rap over it."
  • The original vinyl and cassette versions borrow the chorus from A Taste Of Honey's rendition of the 1963 hit "Sukiyaki" ("It's all because of you, I'm feelin' sad and blue…") but licensing issues necessitated its removal from the CD versions.
  • Snoop Dogg covered this as "Lodi Dodi" on his 1993 debut album, Doggystyle. Mindless Self Indulgence also did a version that they included as a bonus track on their 2005 album, You'll Rebel To Everything.
  • This was used in the movies Dance Flick (2009) and Ride (1998).

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