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THE HIP HOP LOCKER ROOM WITH LAZARUS.

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Welcome to The Hip Hop Locker Room, our new monthly interview series at DetroitRap.com. Starting the year off right we’ve got our first special guest LAZARUS. It’s been quite the year for the Detroit bred lyricist, who’s been repping for the 313 all across the world alongside the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. Accolades include his viral hit “Decapitation Chamber” feat. Ghostface Killah which has garnered over five million downloads worldwide, as well as performing with Wu-Tang at at the legendary Sydney Opera House in Australia. The #LazArmy movement has seen a tremendous amount of growth & as it continues it’s momentum it felt like the perfect time to dig deeper with one of Detroit’s most gifted lyricists.

THE Q & A.

COMMi$$ION: You’ve garnered quite the accolades across your hip hop career ranging from a Discovery channel documentary to unleashing bars in front of an audience inside Russell Simmons own home. Now you’ve got a brand new music video alongside Ghostface Killah for “Decapitation Chamber”. Is there anything still left on your rap career bucket list?

LAZARUS: I just want to keep making good music. It’s been a long journey and I’ve met a lot of my idols along the way, but at the end of it all I want to lay down a legacy and have a catalog of quality work that I can be proud of.

COMMi$$ION:  Speaking of “Decapitation Chamber” in the beginning of the video Ghostface Killah is shown handing over the “keys”.  What did that moment signify to you & how was the experience of working alongside the legendary Wu-Tung Clan member like?

LAZARUS: Ghostface Killah is one of my favorite emcees of all time and he is without question the most aggressive presence on the mic in Hip Hop. To have him say that to me is worth more to me than getting 10 Grammy awards.

COMMi$$ION: You’re not only a rapper but a doctor as well. How have you been able to manage two careers successfully for so long & has there ever been moments you’ve considered abandoning one for the other?

LAZARUS: Doubt has lingered throughout both careers. Because this standard has never been set before, it’s been met with resistance from almost everyone. I had to challenge myself every single day to make this a reality.

COMMi$$ION: As a lyricist in a world of auto tune what drives you to stay true to substance over “dumbing” down and how do you see the industry taking shape in the coming years?

LAZARUS: The current rap scene is trash to me. The standards have lowered so much that subpar emcees are getting praised nowadays. I still sharpen my blades listening to rap music that came out in previous eras. I need substance in my rap.

COMMi$$ION: You’ve been a part of Detroit hip hop scene since the early 00’s championing rap battles over local airwaves all the way to current times collaborating alongside the likes of Royce Da 5’9, Obie Trice, & Swifty Mcvay among others.  Though you currently reside in Las Vegas, Nevada you have always stayed true to the 313.  How has Detroit influenced you personally & musically throughout your life?

LAZARUS: Growing up in Detroit and the Detroit Hip Hop scene has molded me to who I am as en emcee. Just as you learn your first language in your early childhood, Detroit was and forever is my stomping ground. Detroit is where I learned to rap, learned to battle and where I honed my skills as an emcee. Being mentored by Royce and D12 has enabled me to be the lyricist I am today.

COMMi$$ION: You’ve been hard at work crafting your next album “Music Is My Medicine”. Outside of a mixtape in 2010 your last album debuted in 2007 with “Chapter One: The Prince Who Would Be King”.  As time has passed & anticipation builds for your new project was there anything in particular you told yourself you wanted to accomplish going into this release?

LAZARUS: I want to release this album when the momentum is absolutely right for it. In the current climate of music, albums are released and then disposed of within 24 to 48 hours. Attention spans are so short nowadays and great music is overlooked because of it. The most effective approach I see now is to release one song at a time with a video and promote it heavy so that it gets the proper promotion and recognition.

COMMi$$ION: You’ve recently taken to the road touring across the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand alongside the legendary Wu-Tang Clan. What have been some of the challenges & triumphs during this new journey?

LAZARUS: It’s been a monumental dream-like experience to tour the world with my idols. For them to show me respect and give me guidance on this journey is an indescribable feeling.

COMMi$$ION: Not too long ago you shared a photo from the tour with you rocking a stage in front of 10,000 people. How would you describe what was your going through your head at the moment as you graced the stage?

LAZARUS: It was the biggest rush I’ve ever felt in my life. And the second I got the crowd rocking with me, I knew it was my time.

COMMi$$ION:  Thank you for taking the time out to answer some questions for the readers here at DetroitRap.com. In closing if you could leave fans with only line from any of your records to be etched in their memories which would it be?

LAZARUS: “I’m the sickest, wickedist boogie man like America made of Osama/ Wrap the heads of rap gods around my neck like Anacondas/ Come to take the throne despite your willingness, with honor/ Like Killmonger came to Wakanda to take it from T’Challa/“

So not only did Lazarus get to rock the United States, Canada, & Australia alongside Wu-Tang Clan. He was also a part of a extremely special New Zealand tour date the celebrated the 25th Anniversary of “Enter 36 Chambers“.  A new year is among us, & brand new developments are surely coming from the #LazArmy camp. Until next time, this has been The Hip Hop Locker Room powered by DetroitRap.com.

EVENTS

Dillatroit 5 Feb 9th 2020 at the Marble Bar

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In 2020 comes the fifth year anniversary of Dillatroit celebrating the legacy of the late great, J. Dilla.  This Event Features: Guilty Simpson, Dez Andres, A.R.E.S., Clear Soul Forces, Big Noyd (Mobb Deep), DJ Butter, Phat Kat, Ant Live and Laswunzout to list a few.
Order Tickets at EventBrite:
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Lazarus – “You Already Know” ft. Rick Ross & Gucci Mane

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Lazarus - “You Already Know” ft. Rick Ross & Gucci Mane

After last years “Decapitation Chamber” feat. Ghostface Killah & “Leatherface” with Bizarre, Hopsin, & King Gordy comes an unexpected collaboration of mass proportions from Detroit’s own Lazarus. Tackling a trap beat Lazarus hits us with a welcomed curveball in “You Already Know” feat. Rick Ross & Gucci Mane. The star studded collaboration offers us a twist in the forever growing story of Lazarus as he brilliantly demonstrates his versatile abilities atop  production by Tez that #LazArmy fans aren’t accustomed to hearing the Doctor/Rapper attack. “Don’t gotta lie, my rhymes tell you what you already know..” is a fitting close and simple explanation of this mega record. Rick Ross & Gucci Mane respectively come with strong verses that perfectly reflect their styles and blend well. Best of all Lazarus’s ability to remain his top notch lyrical self well aiding the hook in a catchy and ear-invasive way packs a punch ready for your car’s sound system to consume.

DETROIT! Catch Lazarus performing at El Club alongside the legendary GZA on 01.28.2020 in Detroit, MI. More info here.

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ALBUM

REVIEW: COMMiSSiON- GROWiNG UP

The editor finally tells his own story.

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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 DetroitRap.com, 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.

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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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