The 25 Best Brooklyn Anthems

17. Special Ed "The Bush" (1989)


Label: Profile

Though to 80s babies Special Ed's most memorable Brooklyn moment will always be his inclusion in the Spike Lee-inspired supergroup Crooklyn Dodgers, and their self-titled single from the Crooklyn soundtrack, old-head rap fans will fondly recall Ed's chorus-less 1989 ode to Flatbush, "The Bush." Simple and sticky, like all of Special Ed's best tunes, "The Bush" paints an honest if soft-focus picture of the neighborhood (which once housed Ebbets Field) in a state of late-'80s decline. Backed by a sparse juxtaposition courtesy of super producer Howie Tee consisting of a chopped sample of Al Green's "Love And Happiness" and clicking-and-clacking reggae-style steel drum kicks and snares, Ed serenades his southeast-of-Prospect-Park hood with neutral observations of everyday people. Along the way he (sort of) half-invites listeners to come hang, and then half-warns them of the impending speedknots they'll catch for doing so, as well as shouting out both rastas and baseheads. And then, despite his remedial moniker, Ed even name-checks his own Erasmus Hall High School. A for effort, my friend! —Noah Callahan-Bever

Tags: special_ed
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