Apr 24, 2014

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Interview: Special Ed


Special Ed
Classic Material
September 2004
By: Latisha Simmons

Special Ed made a name for himself in 1989 with his debut album Youngest In Charge. The album delivered the classic singles “I Got It Made” and “I’m The Magnificent” and made him apart of the golden era of hip hop music. Special Ed went on to drop his follow up album Legal in 1990, which featured the up-tempo single “Come On Lets Move It.” Special Ed’s last studio album came with the release of Revelations in 1995. The Brooklyn native spent his entire career on Profile records; the same label as the legends of rap, RUN DMC. Now he’s the CEO of his own independent label Semi Records in California. Special Ed takes a break from making fresh rhymes to tell MahoganyGirl why he’s still got it made.

MahoganyGirl: What’s up Ed. How are you doing?
Special Ed: I’m doing good.

MG: What’s going on with you?
SE: I got my album coming October 26th Still Got It Made Semi Records.

MG: I see you took the independent route this time around.
What made you want to start your own label?
SE: It was always my intention to do business and seek my own distribution. And I started looking at the low royalty rates we were getting for our own music.

MG: How old were you when you got started in music?
SE: I was 15 years old.

MG: How does it feel to be apart of the golden era of hip-hop?
You can get on any stage and perform with new material and the classics.
SE: It’s a blessing to be apart of as you put it ‘The Golden Era’. It’s good to see some many of us still doing it. For other artists and fans like you who still appreciate the music it’s a good feeling.

MG: Did you ever have any beef with other emcees when you first came out?
I need to know about the beefs from 89 man. [Laughs]
SE: [Laughs] Nah, I’m not going to speak on that now. The past is the past.

MG: Back then you were coming up with some out-the-box lyrics.
How did you go about writing your raps? Did you write to different beats or in the studio?
SE: I use to write with no beat. We didn’t even have a studio back then. We were just beat boxing and banging on shit to get the beat cause we did have any. I didn’t get beats until I got with Howie Tee. In school we use to be in the back of the class instead of working we would be battling. Girls would be singing the hooks. We’d have a full chorus going on in the class.

MG: Speaking of girls…. You were a heartthrob back then with those dress shirts and slacks on. I know you must of had the girls going crazy.
SE: I’m not gonna speculate or confirm.

MG: [Laughs] C’mon man I know you had them after you.
SE: All I’ma say is…I had to do what I had to do. [Laughs]

MG: [Laughs] You’ve been living on the West Coast for a while now. What made you want to start your label here and live out here?
SE: I lived in New York all my life so the West Coast is a change of scenery. I still got places in New York though.

MG: So tell me about the new album?
What can people except from Still Got It Made?
SE: Personal music! I went out and reciprocated love from my peers and people in the game.

MG: Is it all you on the album or do you have some guest on there?
SE: I got Snoop on there, I got Sizzla Kolonji, a reggae artist I’m working with on there, The Dogg Pound, Daz and Soopafly, Howie Tee and Young Roscoe.

MG: So what’s the first single off the album?
SE: The first single is “Special”. I also got a prequel to the album coming its like a mixtape but I’m rapping over original beats, It’s hosted by Red Alert.

MG: You mentioned business earlier.
Are there any other types of business you get into beside music.
SE: Yeah, I got a real estate management company.

MG: What’s the name of the company if you don’t mind me asking?
You know so I can get the tax people after you. [Laughs]
SE: Nah, I don’t wanna let that out. The investor would be like ‘what’ I’m dealing with who. [Laughs]

MG: [Laugh] I’m just messing with you.
Seriously though, what kind of real estate do you deal with?
SE: I might buy something and keep it for a while and then sell it or something like that.

MG: Any other business?
SE: I do some contract corporate telecommunications stuff too.

MG: That’s cool. You know all these rappers have these side businesses jumpin off.
Will we ever see the Special Ed drink or clothing line out there?
SE: You never know. Business is Business.

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