The year 2019 is off to a good start with dope music being released in the first quarter. For today’s review we have Michael Elias FKA Young Saved and his album ‘Sinner’s Row.’
The very first song on the project is “Is You For Me” which has Elias coming in with some auto tinged vocals and he asks some really good questions. He asks who is really for him and the theme of this song is he just wants to know who is really on his side. “Imma keep moving through this season of Judas” was a nice line. I like how after he says “I think you get the picture” the sound of an actual camera taking a picture is heard, this is a very unique way to get the point across. The second song is “100” and unsurprisingly, Michael talks about how he keeps it 100. He keeps it real about his life. “Step up in the church feeling like a has been” was a honest and raw lyric that stood out to me. I like the sounds on this Jee Juh produced track. What I’m not a fan of is the title “100” as it’s an oft used title and theme of “keeping it 100.” Just off the top of my head it’s been used by Sho Baraka(2007), KB (2014), and NF(2017) to name a few. One of my favorite songs from the project is “Today” produced by The Beat Plug. This track finds Michael talking about his life and how he’s content, he’s just got to get through today. Elias speaks about how his family are part of his today and a part of his mile that he’s making. Looking at yesterday and tomorrow will help you make it through today. Elias spoke about how he almost gave up the music but looking at what he’s accomplished that day helped him keep moving. This is truly one of the shining gems on this project.
We turn a corner on the project with “Only Mad at Myself” one of the best sounding beats on the whole project. I love how haunting this song sounds making it the perfect canvas for Michael to speak like he feels as if he’s caught something but doesn’t know who to talk to. It sounds like Elias got distant from God and is struggling. Michael sounds really good on this The Beat Plug instrumental and this song is a good reminder that sometimes the only person you can be mad at and blame is yourself. On “Finally” featuring Monica Leones, we find Elias on this Jee Juh track, exclaiming that he’s finally figured something out. He’s figured out the way he needs to go to please the Lord. There’s nothing like finally figuring the path you are supposed to walk on. Michael tapped on Monica Leones to assist on the hook but she doesn’t seem to really fit in on this song. Song number six is “Time Change” and the listener is greeted with haunting chords and booming 808s as he boasts of the “Time Change.” He talks about how he has changed from a young boy to a man but the mission of spreading the Gospel through his music has never changed. I like, “there’s less light in the day it’s been a time change.” You don’t really hear people allude to daylight savings when it comes to time change, so that was a good and creative line that stuck to the theme of the song.
We head into the final few songs of the project and on “Lines” we find Elias talking about the lines he writes and spits. The more Elias writes the harder it gets, but Michael will continue to put himself and his God into his lines. This Kato on the Track best is the perfect canvas for Michael to rap on. I like, “somebody tell Cardi B have(behave)” that was a clever little one liner. Michael Elias gives us why he writes on this song, so it helps you know him a little better. On “Hit My Line” featuring DJ Thick and Otitis, Michael asks why folks are hitting his line, because if you hit his line he’ll hit you with the Truth. If you call Michael Elias be prepared for what you are going to get. On the next two verses we have the only rap features on the entire project with Otitis and DJ Thick with dope verses. The three emcees skated on this Kato On The Track produced beat. The song “Blow Up” has Michael Elias on a nice upbeat Jee Juh produced track. As the hook states, Elias feels like he is on the verge of blowing up. This is a good song about putting in the work to get the results. “Being a part of the solution is the only way to blow up” is a good and true line. This is a good and joyful way to end the project. The project would have ended with “Blow Up” but Michael Elias had something else in mind for the listener with “Was It What I Said.” Michael realizes that people may not like what he says but he’ll continue to speak the truth in his raps. Michael speaks of people not hitting his line all throughout this project and this song is no exception While Elias apologizes to the listener he is unapologetic about his message he believes God gave him.
In conclusion, Michael Elias puts just about everything on his heart on ‘Sinner’s Row.’ In a time where authenticity is “in” and artists are saying what’s on their mind, Michael Elias fits right in. This 10 track project takes you on a journey through the life and times of Michael Elias. This is a really solid project with dope beats and hard hitting lyrics. I would love to see more features on Michael’s future project, and more work with the producers he tapped for this project. He could craft a real sound with those producers that fits him, the dark and brooding tones with hints of brightness is a sound that imitates real life, and could be really effective for Michael Elias. Do yourself a favor and check out ‘Sinner’s Row’ when you get a chance.