Thursday, June 10, 2010

3 Play Thursday - Special Ed.

It's 3 Play Thursday. Today: 80's teen rap sensation, Special Ed.

As much as today's playlist-drive cRap music like Soulja Boy, Roscoe, and The GS Boyz annoys me to no end, I can't blame tweens who co-opt some of this style and swagger because I too was once a teen, and I wanted to be like Special Ed.

Flatbush teen Edward Archer burst on the scene with his 1989 hit "I Got It Made", a song that is a Negro litmus test of sorts, right up there with "LaDi DaDi" and "The Show". Seriously, if you don't know the lyrics to this song, I am going to need your Ghetto Pass back, pronto.

Far from a one-hit wonder, Special Ed and his DJ Akshun Love put together a couple of slept-on classics, Youngest In Charge and the just-as-good sophomore effort Legal. No lie, me and my high school buddies prolly ran thru 5 copies of these tapes, as we played them end-to-end nonstop everyday to and from school. This guy, moreso than any other hip hop artist, was the soundtrack of my innocent adolescent years. And unlike today's teen cRappers, Ed could actually spit.

Anyways, here's a trio of my favorite Special Ed tunes. Cop them headphones and go in.

"The Mission"

Sure, this video looks corny as hell 20 years (wow!) later, and it looked corny then. But you gotta give props for the James Bond-style treatment, the classic hip-hop background dancers, and Ed's insistence on using round'-the-way chicks as background filler instead of "video models" like you see nowadays. And come on, tell me that martial arts sequence wasn't at least clever. Even better, this video was a bookend to a prior single/video "Think About It", which featured Larry Bud Melman, a couple of Wayans brothers, and a hovercraft. I'd have embedded that one here, but well, you know how YouTube can be.

"I''m The Magnificent"

In the days when "remix" really just meant same lyrics, different beat, instead of "the version with Lil' Wayne & T-Pain", "The Magnificent" still ranks as one of my all-time favorites. I never cared too much for this Malcolm Jamal Warner directed (that's him doing The Wop at the end) vid, but hey, that's just me. And yes kids, this is where Rick Ross stole those lyrics from.

"Let's Move It" (remix)

Speakin' of remixes, how crazy was this beat? The original album version was fine it its own right, but this sh*t right here.

Question: What's your favorite Special Ed tune? Who's the best teenage cRapper of all time? Are today's teen rappers unskilled cornballs, or is it just me?

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