Comedian Chris Rock spent the weekend at New York City's Apollo Theater, churning out three performances of his stand-up routine for the taping of his new HBO special, "Bigger & Blacker," slated to air on July 10.To warm up the crowds, Rock enlisted the aid of veteran rapper Slick Rick, who just released his first album in five years, "The Art of Storytelling." In an interview with the MTV Radio Network, the comedian explained why he chose Slick Rick out of all his rap artist friends."I saw Slick Rick perform at the House of Blues a couple of months ago," Rock said, "and it was just incredible. I remember [Eddie Murphy's] 'Delirious' was one of my favorite HBO specials, so I kind of wanted to capture that feel. Eddie had the Busboys, but I wanted something bigger and blacker."On July 13, Rock will release an accompanying album to the comedy special, also titled "Bigger & Blacker," which features contributions from Prince Paul, Ol' Dirty Bastard, Biz Markie, and Gerald Levert
(see "Chris Rock's 'Issues' Include Prince Paul, Biz Markie, Ice Cube, O.D.B.")). The cover art will even feature a rap connection, as it is being produced by the same design team behind No Limit Records' flashy covers.