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It’s been a little over a month since Savior Monroe presented his audibly cinematic full-length album “Lost Innocence Awakening” to the world. Cinematic indeed as it took me that entire month to soak in the fabric of all that is “LIA“.  From its song arrangement, vivid storytelling, little bursts of commentary, & bars full of thought provocation Savior Monroe brings us for a deep dive inside a journey he has crafted for all willing to listen. A sucker for storytelling, not only does Savior Monroe execute stories in peak form he is also to drive home some inspirational messages & meanings that drive home like social commentaries aimed to uplift. 

There is a certain journey Savior Monroe is taking us on & he gives us guidance from beginning to end via the song notes provided on his Bandcamp page for the album. I’ve decided to include these to add some context behind the songs as I review them one by one as a listener. I spent a lot of time with this album & as usual, I will give my individual breakdowns of each. Here is the journey I took alongside Savior Monroe well taking in “Lost Innocence Awakening“.

Savior Monroe: This is the journey of Savior Monroe and how he awakens the God within, allowing him to add power to his words and negate the Apocalypse with music. “

Savior Monroe: “The Rip” The end starts at the beginning. The world is being ripped apart by mother nature, technology, weaponry and other threats from those on top of the hierarchy. It is up to the Savior to set things straight using the power of words and influence, and what better way to do it than with music.

01 “The Rip” – I was instantly brought in from the instrumental roaring into Savior’s first verse. Right off rip I was met with “The Rip” thriving with imagery & a Red Dead reference! The narrative is laid out for an album chocked full of depth that takes multiple listens to begin to interpret. It becomes clear upon the introduction that you’re in for some top caliber storytelling.

Savior Monroe: “Past Self” In order to prepare for and combat the end of the world, Savior Monroe decides to go back in time and warn his younger self about the future to prepare him for what’s about to come. The key to saving the world is to make sure Savior continues to do music despite the trials ahead of him.

02 “Past Self” – Telling his younger self not lose itself, Savior dives inside an inner struggle between a young him. He goes on speaking on his knowledge & lessons well-providing guidance. The lyricism is polished & engaging enough that he is able to pull you into his messages & “Past Self” is one of my favorite examples of it on the album.

Savior Monroe: “Stay In Your Lane” As Savior Monroe grows and becomes more attached to music, there comes times where he is enticed to do something else. Luckily God put people in his life to keep him on the straight and narrow living positively so he can continue to chase his dream to be an artist. Little does he know the world depends on it.

03 “Stay In Your Lane” – I love the reflection element of this album, & after listening over  & over I catch new things each time. The detail behind each record on “Lost Innocence Awakening” is pristine & this story of a few key people God has placed inside his path steering him to stay on the right track in life is portrayed excellently. 

Savior Monroe: “Guilty Until Proven Innocent” Once Savior Monroe becomes confident with his skill as an artist, he develops the mentality that he can murder every other artist. But if you’re a strong enough ally, he’ll recruit you. So he teams up with Kyo and continues to chase his dream and improve his craft.

04. Guilty Until Proven Innocent (feat. Kyo) – Lucky for Kyo his recruitment spares his life as we digest the first feature on the album. “I’m guilty of killing in profound ways“& in ways that perfectly defines this song. “Not even Armageddon can end the type of war we in“….the quotables here are too many to mention. Even listening over and over to this project I find different things upon each take.

Savior Monroe: “Touch The Clouds” Savior Monroe continues his onslaught and elevation with his music and recruits another powerful ally who goes by the name of 1 I Sinny. Together they continue their lyrical rampage.

05. Touch The Clouds (feat. 1 I Sinny) – At first, the beat to this one fell a bit overpowering verses the vocals to me on “Touch The Clouds” one with 1 I Sinny. Yet as it went forward the ongoing repeat “guitar” I believe is hard to miss hypnotizes you & the emcees go bar for bar with solid execution from both. 

Savior Monroe: “Never Satisfied” After years of work and elevation, Savior Monroe realizes that no matter what he does he will not be able to please everybody. Despite that realization, he continues to pursue music and elevate.

06. Never Satisfied – It’s a MARK COOPER production & a fine one at that plus “I’m in the studio eighteen hours, getting it in because it gave me power“… Well, Savior, it shows. It’s always the hardest albums to critique when I myself find myself having anything “critical to say about it“. In “Never Satisfied” is Savior VS EVERYBODY. Embedded in these lyrics are messages I feel aimed directly at society & they hit when you hear them. When the beat switches up in this song MARK COOPER shines behind a shining emcee. A standout track on the album.

Savior Monroe: “Flesh N Blood” After the revelation that music isn’t the only thing he’ll need to become the God responsible for saving the world, Monroe increases his knowledge and skill simultaneously. He develops the skills and the wisdom to negate the end of the world and begins to do so aggressively by killing all of those not down for his cause. The corrupt, blind and manipulative.

07. Flesh N Blood –  He ain’t got a third eye so he don’t see like that” over the powerful instrumental. I love the way the beat switches up here to as the words “Flesh N Blood” come in. Powerful messages coincide with that instrumentation as well here in a continuation of Savior’s story.

Savior Monroe: “The Same Us” Savior Monroe’s next step in his journey is to reveal the corrupt authority system, so he sets out to expose those abusing their power. Once exposed, the awaken can handle them appropriately.

08. The Same Us –  A modern aged version of “Fuck The Police” this record feels like a new twist with boom bap slash lo-fi vibes. FUCK TWELVE, & the abuse of power that certain individuals possess. It’s a vivid description of this twisted society & fucked up system of today.

Savior Monroe: “Threat To Society” Savior Monroe searches further and finds out the corruption is deeper than he originally thought. The children are being turned into weapons. So in order to awaken the world, he exposes the secret behind the child rebel soldiers. From this point on, Savior decides to focus on saving the children, because they are the future.

09. Threat To Society – In a battle against life’s ills Savior Monroe comes off as a threat to this society. He illustrates throughout his verse in elegant form. A storytelling natural ….murder. MURDER…kill….KILL….had me feeling homage to Nas or at least reminiscent. Savior Monroe is in polished arm on this entire project. Attacking “threats” all over the world in a public service announcement to watch out for your children.

Savior Monroe: “How Many Views” Savior focuses on the young ladies after he exposes the child rebel soldiers. He finds out that social media is one of the main weapons used against our young, vulnerable girls. It acts as a drug and every level of attention is like a stronger hit. Sally Peterson is a huge example of this and her following is massive. So Savior believes once he exposes her, the rest of the females falling victim to the ills of what is started through social media will change as well.

10. How Many Views – Thirst traps galore for females lost in a world of searching for views. Another great example of storytelling but what’s most impressive isn’t just the clear visuals painted via lyricism but the extremely catchy chorus this song drives home. Breaking down the breakdown of a girl swept through the effects of being trapped in the chase for views. 

Savior Monroe: “A Place Called Home” Savior Monroe continues his journey to save the youth by going back to his neighborhood. He runs into a young black boy who resembles his youngest brother. He decides to study and focus on him. Once he has gathered enough information he can use that to save all of the young, black underprivileged youth from not only his own neighborhood, but from all over the world. Thank God for our children he chants as he continues his journey to negate the Apocalypse.

11. A Place Called Home – A trip back home in what feels like self-analyzation in an intense version. There was a particular chunk of bars here that grabbed me, I’ve included them below. “A Place Called Home” became home as one of my favorites on the album.

“Wasn’t my dad but he played the role 
Another father figure and he would take control 
I would praise the code and never break the mode 
Until that crazy motherfucka would take the soul 
Of my momma shook, no wonder I’m a crook 
Now my granny want me to read a Bible book 
Nothing in this bitch was teaching me survival 
Tryna trick a little kid just to feed the idols”

Savior Monroe

Savior Monroe: “Seraph” Even with all of the knowledge and power Savior Monroe has gained, it still isn’t enough to accomplish his goal. Eventually his mother falls ill and passes away from Cancer, one of the things Savior Monroe is trying to provide a coping mechanism for. Even though she passes, Savior is blessed with the strength and additional power from her to continue and eventually complete his journey. 

12. Seraph – My favorite song on the album. Having lost my Grandfather to cancer & my father at a young age this song hits home as I sure it does for many who’ve been affected by the monster that is Cancer. Beautiful record. 

Savior Monroe: “Salvation” Once Savior Monroe gained the additional strength from his mother becoming his guardian angel, there was nothing stopping him from having the power to stop the Apocalypse and save the world with his music. He is the hero we all need. No longer must we wait for the resurrection of a fictional character.

13. Salvation – The fast bouncy flow that comes in right off that bat grabs you, & then this voice taunts behind it as it drives forward. “So you’re looking for a miracle to save our souls, but you never gonna get it from the dead he rose…” chants from the voice of Savior Monroe on this insane production. Insane in a fantastic way. This album builds & grows as it goes. It’s a progressive story to tell is really catapulted by the production that sandwiches it all together.

Savior Monroe: “Blinded” Through all of the criticism, doubting, and deception, Savior Monroe finally Awakens and becomes the God he has been trying to become all of this time. His mission is complete and he can finally prepare to stop the Apocalypse with the power of his words and music.

14. Blinded (feat. MoMo) – No memes with this MoMo. In reference to the song, I haven’t walked the same shoes but I definitely resonate with what’s being said here & personally found relatable moments. This album was enjoyable to listen to in it’s entirety to me & I’ve truly enjoyed the time I’ve spent over and over listening in what I would definitely call one of my more thorough breakdowns. 

Savior Monroe: “Reawakening” This is the alternate ending of what could have happened had Savior Monroe not went on his journey. Technology takes over and becomes God instead, and they take over the humans and control them just like the humans used to control technology, essentially turning us all into slaves.

15. Reawakening – An alt ending to a story spun from a web of lyrical fine details. “Reawakening” closes out this incredible story with one ear-twisting finish. “Created from chrome dust’… well this chrome dust certainly has stirred up something great. It took me a few listens & the track notes to understand what at first listen sounded like an audible experiment before realizing I was actually hearing the transition into the technology takeover. The panning effects and deeper voice bridging verses, all as the song becomes more digitized. An alternative ending worthy of finishing an album soaking with creativity. 

In closing, we have a serious competitor in terms of albums not just in the Detroit area but nationally with this one. There have been some solid offerings to take in this year but honestly, 2019 has been a slow start for me. In terms of new music, it’s only been a handful of projects I’ve truly got stuck on. This one right here though! I’m expecting it to adorn a heavy rotation over the coarse of the year. Savior Monroe takes us with him through his incredible story, amassed with a brilliant arrangement, & top-notch production. From beginning to end, to even the alt end, it’s almost as if I don’t want it to end. There a very few artists that are able to articulate & execute a concept album such as this, yet this one is executed in incredible form. 9/10





The editor finally tells his own story.




Modern independent musicians wear many hats, from guiding the production of the music they love, directing merch and marketing, and working the mechanics necessary to get their music heard. Likewise, content creators have to stay on their toes to contribute consistently; staying in touch with the game and building relationships with everyone in and out of the machine is essential.

Joe Commisso, aka COMMiSSiON, also serves as the editor and webmaster of, creating content that supports and reviews Detroit music. He also supports Detroit acts directly at shows and events, and has been actively performing and preparing his own contribution to the discussion about Detroit hip-hop.

As the new decade opened, Commission released “GROWiNG UP” across platforms and chose to weave a narrative about his past as his first full project.With appearances from VStylez, Kid Vishis, Jonnie Morris, Sin Crawford, and Redman, there is an edge to GROWiNG UP that reflects the struggles that COMMiSSiON encountered growing up on Carlisle Street in Detroit. JRGotTheHits, who helmed the majority of the production on the album, provided him with a synth-heavy soundscape that is sparse enough to allow Joe to do his thing while incorporating a good live feel that should translate well in Joe’s performances.


Standout tracks include “Tell Em,” “Too Much,” and “Flagrant,” where Pontiac’s Sin Crawford drops a notable verse. COMMiSSiON does a great job of maintaining a subtext of growth throughout the tape, and the album climaxes with “Rapper Dad,” where Joe balances music with maintaining his connection with his family.

Overall, GROWiNG UP is a solid project. Making a thematic album for a debut is challenging, as streaming playlists don’t always allow today’s listeners an opportunity to hear records in context. Nevertheless, the songs can stand on their own, and it will be interesting to see how COMMiSSiON and JRGotTheHits continue to build chemistry. As we look forward to future projects (and content) by COMMiSSiON, we can bet that his music will stay true to what those of us who are music multitaskers already know — having balance is the most important thing.

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Detroit is winning, you best believe that. It could not be a better time to be a fan of the real Hip Hop, when what you said was just as, if not more so important than the beat. Repping Inkster Mi Ketch P drops a full length after teasing us with songs and verses over the last year. Gift Certificate is just that. A early holiday gift of pure unadulterated HIP HOP! That is what we have come to expect from one of the hottest music camps to rear its head from Michigan in a long time.

Gift Certificate is free, but its so good you would just feel bad about yourself making some kind of donation. With guest features from Aaron Taylor, Finale, V-Stylez, Bubba Rock, Rim, Isaac Castor, Gypsy, Guilty Simpson and Paradime. Production from UHHA producer of the year winner Foul Mouth, Blizzard, Peace of Mind, Chanes, Simple Cuts, Jimbo Slice, Oso Blanco and Black Bethoven with Cuts by DJ Bet this project is air tight from start to finish.

The single Kareem & Shaq produced by Foul Mouth and Middle Finger Trophies produced by Blizzard gives us a idea of what to expect. Hard hitting neck snapping beats and supreme word play with purpose and a delivery smooth enough to understand every word spoken.  Stand out tracks include 313, Back Outside Feat Finale and V-Stylez, Get the Money feat Isaac Castor produced by Peace of mind hits a little different and not something we get from Peace to often. The Emcees most def did that track right! Death Soup brings 2 of Hip Hops most traveled lyricist Guilty Simpson and Paradime. Feels good to hear Dime lacing tracks again. Welcome back homie! None other than Black Bethoven brings his soulful hip hop production style to the project and gives the album that final piece that can put this in the conversation as one of the years best releases. Ketch fills in any pocket masterfully. Pour up feat Aaron Taylor makes you want to peel the top back spark up that black and mild and ride out!

Its been 6 years! Im glad the brother is back! Could we see him and his Street Justice brothers again soon? Never know…. Time will tell.

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“Sincerely Detroit” Listening Session with Apollo Brown




Sincerely Detroit Listening session

In the internet age, terms to describe things become less powerful, lose the impact of its meaning. Lets take the word CLASSIC.

1. ADJECTIVE:    judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.
                                “a classic novel”
 Personally when it comes to music it is hard for me to see something as classic if its creators have no history of success.
Apollo Brown is one of the most iconic producers to hail from the mid west, and Michigan to be exact.
Dating back to 2007, Apollo Brown has made tracks with some of Hip Hop’s Elite. Boog Brown, Journalist 103
Guilty Simposn, Ghost Face Killah, Ras Kas, Rapper Big Pooh, Planter Asia, Joel Ortiz, Skyzoo and the list continues. Apollo Brown can be found touring over seas year around
INSERT:     Detroit’s finest Emcees
Let me go on the record by saying i have never heard a full project 20 songs deep with over 50 artist involved and i not say one time “They should have came better than that” Yes after 79 Minutes and 29 seconds (a cd can only hold 80 minutes of music) not one artist on here dropped the ball.  Apollo along with Executive producer Hex Murder collected what turned out to be Apollo’s favorite artist. He stated “There was no pitty everyone on this i wanted to include for a reason, there is all kind of different eras, groups, solo acts and djs”
If you know APOLLO Brown you know his sound. Some of that good ole mid tempo boom bap hip hop. In the early days he was a hot producer on the Beat Battle scene with a reputation of Hard hitting drums and nasty samples that keep your head on swivel. As he mentioned at the session, “I got to feel the music now, im married with a kid” so you can still feel them drums hitting just right, but the samples have a little more soul to it. Every element of this project from the drums, to the samples used and the vocalist are definitely something that is FELT.
 During the listening session he often pointed out how proud we should be because here in Detroit, we truly have the best of everything. Producers, artist, vocalist, but something he said that he has been trying to keep in his creative process is the use of the DJ. “Its a lost art that we must keep in the process”  With the likes of DJ AMF, DJ LOS, DJ Dez, Nick Speed and others this project truly feels complete and the ingredients of what makes a classic.
  It was so much to take in, i mean track after track, bar after bar with nothing falling short. There was just to much to digest in one sitting. But standouts for me personally on this compilation were Trick Trick, Paradime, Mz Korona, Quest Mcody, Fatt Father, Clear Soul Forces, Moe Dirdee, Seven The General, Boog Brown, Ketch P, Guilty Simpson, Ro Spit Bronze Nazareth, Boldy James. SMH why did i even get started. This project is a must cop!

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