When people think of Luther Campbell and his infamous 2 Live Crew, they think of X-rated Miami bass music -- raunchy, sexually explicit stuff that managed to offend everyone from the Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson crowd on the far right to radical feminists on the far left. But 2 Live Crew didn't always specialize in X-rated booty rhymes. Released in 1985, "Revelation" is a little-known 12" single that is surprisingly different from the type of sexploitive tunes that put the group on the map a few years later. Those who associate 2 Live Crew with "We Want Some Pussy" and "Me So Horny" will be surprised to learn that "Revelation" is a sociopolitical number that examines a variety of issues (including poverty, unemployment, drugs, and black-on-black crime) and comes to the conclusion that all of these problems are part of Biblical prophecy. Obviously, Biblical prophecy isn't what 2 Live Crew were rapping about on "We Want Some Pussy." But then, the group had yet to find their niche when they recorded this 12" single. It's also important to note that "Revelation" isn't Miami bass -- the synth-driven production is closer to the West Coast electro sound that Egyptian Lover and World Class Wrecking Crew were known for at the time. Meanwhile, the single's more New York-sounding B-side, "2 Live," is a mildly catchy, if unremarkable, tune that favors the sort of scratching/beat-box sound that East Coast MCs were famous for in 1985. As far as '80s message rap goes, "Revelation" isn't in a class with Grandmaster Flash's "New York, New York" or Run-D.M.C.'s "It's Like That." Nonetheless, this is a single that rap historians will find interesting if they can find a copy.
AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson