Old School Mondays:: Special Ed

I'm Special Ed, my DJ's name is Akshun
On Friday, while I was discussing Special Ed's weekend performance at the Marquee, I hinted that you might get more of the Special one for this week's installment of OSM. Well "hint" is a little misleading, as I was pretty much guaranteeing you'd be getting another dose of the magnificent. Mainly it's because I really do enjoy Special Ed, but it's also because it saved me from coming up with some other songs at this chaotic/festive time of year. Let's get to it.

MP3:: Special Ed - The Mission
Oh yes, this is the jam. It really is the epitome of golden age hip hop nonsense. I'm willing to bet anyone you know that was into hip hop in 1990 loves this song. It's got a relatively simple drums and guitar loop beat, accompanied by an addictive Salt & Pepa sample, but really it is Ed's nutty, rapper as super-hero narrative that steals the show. I'm sure this gimmick has been done many times before and after this song, but it gets no better than this. It's comically preposterous, and full of notable quotables:

When the phone rang - yo, I couldn't believe it
Told myself to ignore it, forget it, leave it
Just when things had started goin' great
It rang again I said, "Hold up, wait"
Picked up the phone, yelled, "Who the hell is this?"

I just love this sequence, call Special Ed when he's with a lady friend, you get a hollering

It said, yo, 'this tape will self-destruct'
I pressed the deck, but the tape was stuck
Oh well, what the heck, I just cleaned up the mess

Do exploding tapes phase Ed? They do not

Threw on the trench, kissed the girl good-bye
She said, "Special Ed, don't go, you might die"
Started cryin' and huggin' on me, so I shot her
I said, "Sorry baby, but I gotta do what I gotta

Any lyrics site you find will say he "shut her", but what the ass would that mean?

In particular the name of Lu Chin Chen
Yo, I landed in Japan with intent to kill
You could tell I wasn't jokin by the look on my grill
Took a look at the picture of the man that I was after
A 5 foot 10 black-belt karate master

He flew to Japan to fight a Chinese Karate master to the death. Fantastic is the word you're looking for.

He flipped back, got into a fighting position
The tiger style, the shit was wild

Tiger style is the wildest of the Karate animal styles

Yo, he kicked me on the floor just like I was a child
I got fed up, I thought of Flatbush Style

Uh oh, you done made Ed made now Chen, you gonna get it!

Knew he was defeated, but I wasn't done yet
So I shot him with the shotie, then I jetted in the jet

The term "classic line" is used way too much, but this is really a classic line

The video for The Mission, which you can see below, is also tremendous, but I would need a whole other post to discuss it, enjoy it for yourself.

MP3:: Special Ed - Neva Go Back
As I mentioned on Friday, I've always enjoyed Ed's 1995 album Revelations, even though I don't think it moved many units and Ed kind of disappeared from the scene for a while after it dropped. But really, it remains a classic for lovers of classic NY hip hop, and Neva Go Back is a perfect example of that. It's simply Ed flowing like mountain-fresh spring water over longtime collaborator "Hitman" Howie Tee's rumbling drums and horn stabs. Just check Ed's wordplay and ennunciation on this song, he's one of those MC's I could listen too endlessly and never get tired of, simply because of his delivery. And when you consider 90% of his songs are just him boasting about his skills, that is fairly impressive. Not much more to say really, just a great song from an under-appreciated album. Check the video below for some fantastic visual effects brought to you by the video's director, none other than tv's Omar Epps. Omar is now simultaneously coaching the Pittsburgh Steelers while appearing on that show with the super smart doctor who's also a dick and uses a cane. Big up to Omar.

Video:: Special Ed - The Mission

Video:: Special Ed - Neva Go Back

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