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Youngest in Charge

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"Special Ed's debut LP presented in a gatefold jacket with liner notes by Brian Coleman that include interviews with Ed and Howie Tee. In 1989, Hip-Hop was truly bona fide. It had shed the 'just a gimmick' tag years before, as it showed not only artistic growth, but serious sales numbers. In short, it was here to stay. After the explosion of Run-DMC, the Beastie Boys and Public Enemy in New York and the rise of the West Coast seen in multiplatinum successes by N.W.A. and Ice-T, the music started to truly expand, letting new voices and approaches join the party and make their own waves. One of those was a young man from Brooklyn who went by the name Special Ed. Only 16 when his debut hit shelves (and then quickly flew off them), his age was indeed just a number. Beyond any gimmicks, Ed had serious skills. Even considering the novelty of Ed's youth, the Youngest In Charge album stands very firmly on its own as a hip-hop classic, the ultimate in late '80s New York brag swagger, with hit singles 'I Got It Made' and 'Think About It,' both which showed off Ed's battle stances and Howie Tee's masterful, never-endingly catchy productions. Add to it deeper album cuts that still resonate like 'Taxing,' 'Fly M.C.' and 'I'm The Magnificent' (a later single, in 1990), and it brings you back to a time when hip-hop was all about skills and chemistry. Special Ed and Howie Tee certainly had both, with dopeness to spare."