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Published on October 1st, 2014 | by Jameelah "Just Jay" Wilkerson


Special Generation: Back On The Block

Please introduce for me the members of Special Generation…

Let us introduce all the original members:

Fernando “Chip” Carter, Kendrick Washington, Charles Salter, Maquet Robinson (and) Maurice Dowdell.

It’s been over twenty long years since you dropped your 2nd and final studio outing — With that being said, where exactly have you all been?

Yes, it has been a long time…It’s called marinating in the mist from the industry. After the release of our second album entitled Butterflies, having the pleasure to work with legends like Gerald Levert and his father Eddie Senior, Steven Harts Russell from Troop, Joe Little from The Rude Boys; including Def Jef the rapper, Derrick Hall and Greg Cauthen, the truth is that we all decided to take a small break not realizing that a lot of things in our personal life would need attention.
What actually prompted your decision to take so much time off from making music?

I really don’t think it was done on purpose; we basically got into doing things individually, experiencing life as young successful men, not realizing that all of our blessings consisted with us just sticking together. I guess we needed time to mature as men away from the light of success. We decided to leave the MC
Hammer label, Bust It Records, after witnessing the closure of the company and Hammer’s bankruptcy exposure. The choice was to learn the industry ourselves and become entrepreneurs for the near future.

Back in the summer of 1998, your fan-base became extremely excited when rumors of your return to music first surfaced, I believe you all even released a maxi-single entitled “I Don’t Wanna Be Alone” — How come nothing else ever materialized when word started circulating of a purported comeback?

The single released, “I Don’t Wanna Be Alone,“ was just a studio record that we had no intentions of releasing yet, but a close friend producer of ours, Ricky Brown, introduced us to a powerful label called Upstairs Records — — within the San Francisco Bay Area. This company was a great company and they wanted this record bad, however, the group wasn’t ready with the pre-recorded records we had in the Special Generation vault. (The) “I Don’t Wanna Be Alone” record went on to be highly demanded overseas because of (the) Upstairs Records label and their efforts.

The good, no take that back, GREAT news is that you all have finally re-emerged, and it’s been reported that you all are you currently working on your “official” third/full length entry? If so, what all can you all reveal and/or divulge about said project at this given time?

We are so happy just to be back in the studio and sit and unpeel layers of life between each other. The project will not only be an album, but a video journey documentary and a moment for us to just be us at home. The music we intend to record will be different from radio because we never followed any trends at all. I can truly say that no one has lost their vocal ability, and we hope you guys will tune into what we love to do.

How does this new material either differ and/or compare to previous Special Generation efforts?

Because of our past and new life experiences, our music differs. We now have families of our own and we’ve experienced many things we would like to share that could help others in the business of music. We consider ourselves as seasoned recording artists finally turning (back) on the microphone, “Hello,,,Hello,,,Remember us…We are back!!”

As an extension to that last question, how has not only the music business itself, but even more-so YOU ALL, either changed and/or evolved since your whole inception into music?

We have listened to everything over the years, especially watching the change in lyrical content…We can’t leave out that we gave MC Hammer a harmonic sound that reached over 40 million records sold based on our harmonies and method of exposure along his side. The music business (has) really lost its place of control and in some way it’s racing to get it back. As of now, artists may seek a major record deal not realizing that they’ll see a 360 new type of deal on the table, which means they want everything; it wasn’t like that at first. So either you adjust or do what a lot of artists do, they go independent in efforts to find ways of taking bits and pieces of marketing work and become successful. The Group has evolved to doing things our way and owning our own masters to success.

Success, define yours? What has been the ultimate key to your longevity?

I like this question says Kendrick of the group…I think when we started in the early 1990’s we had already placed success in our mindset; it was a matter of becoming more popular and doing what we like and not putting things on the radio that would destroy our character. The key is sticking together and being dedicated to what we learned along the way from major influences within the business.

Who/What all exactly have been your strongest inspiration(s)?

First God, “Jehovah,” and our families have inspired us to push on and live on day by day. There are so many distractions to confuse our young these days; positive mentors are so important in life.

On a more serious note, are you all happy with the current state of R&B? And, even more specifically, where exactly do you all “fit in” when it comes to the overall sound-scape of today’s popular/trending artists?

We are staying in our lane because R&B lives on…No trends will be found from us…

To date, what has been your biggest career moment(s), at least thus far?

Education College tours we did in the south region to inspire students, signing a deal with Capitol Records, recording background vocals on the MC Hammer song ”U Can’t Touch This” on his tour bus…The Bobby Brown Tour, appearing on The Oprah (Winfrey) Show, appearing on (The) Arsenio Hall Show a few times. We have so many…

What’s next for you all, Special Generation?

The release of our documentary story and new music releases…We are working on our own online network channel, which will be like a gateway of things we will bring to our fans. Please stay in tune with us at: or follow us: @SpecialGmusic.

Lastly, do you all keep up with your friends and, former, Bust It colleagues/label-mates; MC Hammer (Da Boss Man), Oaktown’s 3.5.7, B Angie B, DRS, One Cause One Effect, Pleasure Ellis and 2 Bigg MC, to name some?

Actually, we do every week on Facebook; they will be involved in some things we do for sure.

Is there anything I left out or just plain forgot to mention?

I think we covered everything for now and hope to do another interview soon! To our fans, please be on (the) lookout for our new documentary and songs. You can follow us on Twitter: @specialgmusic or

Any “closing” thoughts for our readers?

Always believe that you can accomplish any goal in life. Also, it’s very important to be wise to educate yourself about the things you strive to do in life. Sometimes we rush for success in a certain field of study, but don’t know what to do when we get there. Read and learn as much as you can to your kids, in order to make a Special Generation happen in life.

By: Todd Davis

About the Author

Publisher and CEO of The Hype Magazine. Follow me on Twitter @HypeJustJay

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