Muhammad Ali was not a rapper, but to many of the genre's best lyricists, he was influential in paving the way for hip-hop stars to succeed and had a lasting impact on the art form. Slick Rick shared his memory of the late athlete with The Associated Press. See excerpt below: "Without question, Muhammed Ali's rhymes were the beginnings of rap music. Along with his tremendous athletic talent, he provided all of us with an image of strength, intelligence, self-assurance, and an in-your-face confidence that one could only admire. To me, Muhammed Ali was a rare unique gem — no additives, no preservatives. All walks of life could feel Ali's passion with everything that he touched."
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