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Monday, September 8, 2008

Initial Thoughts Album Review #5 - Common Market "Tobacco Road"

Initial Thoughts Album Review #4
Unpretentious album reviews that forgo the big words, analogies and obscure music-references to simply voice some initial thoughts and gut reactions.

Common Market - Tobacco Road

I have been eagerly waiting all summer long for RA Scion and Sabzi to release their new full length, "Tobacco Road." While I'm grateful that they gave us a taste with their "Black Patch War" EP last spring, in a way it made the wait all the more difficult. Over the past month or so a few tracks have leaked here and there and they sounded great. Now that I have received a copy of the full album, I am one happy camper.

Some thoughts:

RA Scion's craft is at its best! Not only are his lyrical stylings and content more cohesive throughout the album, but his presentation - cadence, flow, intoation - prove a large step forward from their 2006 selftitled "Common Market" LP.

Sabzi's beats are equally impressive. It is interesting to compare his work with Blue Scholars and Common Market. I'm not sure if he consiously choses certain beats for one band and different ones for the other (I can only assume that he does), but the backing tracks he chose for this album mesh well with RA Scion's vox.

The lyrical content, though clearly less autobiographical than Black Patch War, still dwells upon aspects of RA Scion's agricultural, rural, Southern roots.

In short, I really hope these guys break it big! The hip-hop world needs more guys out there putting out high quality tracks that don't just talk about rims, grills, hoes and money. That schtick got old a LONG time ago. I think the term "conscious hip-hop" gets thrown around way too much, but these guys really do embody the best of what that term originally was used to mean. The fact that they are going through the independent grind, fighting from the ground up, makes this already impressive album all the more triumphant.

Long live Pacific Northwest Hip Hop!!!

ps. don't forget to download this track off the Black Patch War EP

Common Market - His Eminence.mp3

Add them to your collection!

Also, consider their associated act Blue Scholars (same DJ, different MC)

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