Special Ed

Revelations

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Five years passed between Special Ed's sophomore effort, Legal, and his third album, Revelations. The Brooklyn native was 23 when this CD came out, and the hip-hop landscape had gone through its share of changes since Ed's emergence as a teenager in the late 1980s. So the rapper adjusted his flow to appeal to 1995 tastes, but he was still quite recognizable as Special Ed -- and he was still a technique-oriented boasting rapper first and foremost. Boasting, in fact, is about all he does on Revelations. But as clever as many of his boasts are, hearing nothing but bragging can wear thin after awhile. A few songs into the album, you're admiring Ed's flow but wishing he would talk about something other than how great a rapper he is and how inferior rival MCs are. And after over an hour of hearing nothing but boasting and nothing but technique, you're painfully aware of how limited this approach can be. Revelations isn't a bad album by any means, but it could have used some variety.

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