Special Ed – Youngest in Charge

special-ed-back-n-the-day-buffet-1Special Ed released his debut album “Youngest in Charge” on May 16. 1989.  It was produced by Hitman Howie Tee and was released on Profile Records.  The album is one of the greatest from the Golden Age of Hip Hop.

The first time I heard Special Ed was on the song “I Got It Made“.  I was watching a late night video program on cable when the song came on.  The bass underneath the sample of “I Don’t Know What It Is, But It Sure Is Funky” by Ripple had me turning up the volume!  The song was slow paced and Ed bragged about his possessions in his lyrics.  At 15 years of age, you would think he would still be at mom’s house, correct? Nope, he was dropping dope Hip Hop tracks!

I’m talented, yes I’m gifted
Never boosted, never shoplifted
I got the cash, but money ain’t nothin’
Make a million dollars every record that I cut and–
My name is Special Ed and I’m a super-duper star
Every other month I get a brand new car
Got 20, that’s plenty yet I still want more
Kind of fond of Honda scooters–got 74
I got the riches–to fulfill my needs
Got land in the sand of the West Indies
Even got a little island of my very own–
I gotta frog–a dog with a solid gold bone
An accountant to account the amount I spent
Gotta treaty with Tahiti cause I own a percent
Got gear I wear for everyday
Boutiques from France to the U.S.A
And I make all the money from the rhymes I invent
So it really doesn’t matter–how much I spent, because, yo
I make fresh rhymes–daily
You burn me–really?
Think, just blink and I’ve made–a million rhymes
Just imagine if you blinked– a million times
Damn I’d be paid–
I got it made

The one thing we love about Ed is his videos.  He always has those videos where the villain  is after him and he has to rap his way out of it!  On “Think About It” he raps over a sample of “Schoolboy Crush” by Average White Band with an appropriate vocal of Rakim in the mix.  In the video he get’s away on a hovercraft and he will use that 007 agent type theme on his second album for his song “The Mission“.  Dope track with matching video.

Sometime I wanna rhyme, but then again I must wait
For the approaching of a toy to introduce him to his fate
Death, I always try to figure out why
Sucker MC’s wanna battle me when they know they will die
In the end, so why pretend you’re livin trifle
I’ma rope you up like a cowboy, stifle
Your throat with my microphone cord, cause I’m the lord
Of the rhyme, some people say that they can never get bored
Cause I’m exciting, pleasurable listening
I’m only tryin to show you what your records keep on missing, and
I’m only tryin to help our your crew, and
I know I must forgive ya, cause you don’t know what you’re doin
So sucker MC’s, please think twice
Would you join the navy if you didn’t like the gravy and rice?
Think about it

He get’s us on the dance floor with the reggae influenced “I’m the Maginificent” where he takes a dope guitar sample from “007 (Shanty Town)” by Desmond Dekker and DJ Akshun throws that beat in reverse and makes it as ill as they come!

One of the funkiest songs on this album is “Hoedown” where Ed goes country on us and makes us do some line dancing.  He takes a country sounding sample from “Black Grass” from Bad Bascomb and tells us about a girl name Lucy way before Das EFX told us about her!

Lucy, I remember Lucy
With the big fat juicy
Watermelons comin out the grocery store
Saw her comin out of the door
I said, “Miss, can I help you with this?
Please don’t diss, I just wanna kiss”
She said, “Of course,” kissed with force
Suckin on my lips just like she was a horse
I said, “Excuse me, please don’t bruise me
Please don’t tease or skeeze or use me
I’m not like that, I’m not kinky
Would you please remove your pinky
From my rear?
Can’t you hear?

Lastly we have the track “Taxing” where Ed throws us some braggadocio rhymes as the beat samples “A Funky Song” by Ripple and a guitar riff from the Beatles.   Great track to start the album with.

After I pose for the photos, address the press
I take a rest to let my rhymes digest
Into my brain to sustain and cultivate it
Take a penny for my thoughts, from copper I gold-plate it
Enrich my mind like wine till I find
What I need to exceed with speed, proceed line
Fold it, I take the mic, I grab it and I hold it
Then I walk to and talk to the crowd, cause yo, I sold it
You bought it, you thought it wasn’t worth
But the record went gold, it sold, jerk
I’m worldwide, from girls I hide
Not gay, no way, but they all wanna ride
Mine, they bring me roses and wine
But I hate cheap sex, so next time
Come correct like an intellect
Okay, do you hear what I say? Check
Yo, on the rhyme I’m a lyrical joy
And whoever shall front shall be destroyed
The lyrical composer, I produce all legit
My name’s Special Ed and yo, your name ain’t –

The album scored big with Hip Hop heads, and it was the intro track “I Got It Made” that made you go get this album!  He later brings us another dope LP and is even one of the greatest posse cuts of all time “Crooklyn Dodgers“.  The kid was only 17 when this album dropped and indeed he is the “Youngest in Charge“.

-Al E.

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