by Chris Estey
RA Scion loves God and reads Harper’s. He talks about his ambivalence of growing up poor in Kentucky with the deepest love and some seriously bold class analysis. Current TV has featured a day in the emcee’s life, and the seven part collaboration with his immensely creative (musical) partner in Common Market, Sabzi (also of Blue Scholars), “Black Patch War” has set new standards in local AND national hip-hop.
Paradoxically, Sabzi and Scion fight the hubris and mediocrity of the traditional deejay-emcee team by being supremely talented and almost effortlessly humble. This has endeared them to people put off by reckless pride in a genre that’s often fueled by puffed-up insecurity. The richly ambitious sophomore full-length Tobacco Road was released late last year, and while it hasn’t received the commercial success it truly deserves (yet), it did change a more than a few people’s minds about the game. Which is a true score for real players.
Common Market has been around since 2005, beginning with some work Sabzi did for Scion’s solo full-length Live and Learn. They mindfully crafted a thematic fourteen-song debut released that fall, and received love from similarly-conscious KRS-One, who praised the band.
Their tour with Digable Planets has been canceled (to the bumming of many fans of both groups), but their new iTunes EP The Winter’s End is gaining more notice for when Common Market are able to take their art on the road.
Common Market is performing at Bumbershoot on Sunday, September 6, on the Fisher Green Stage at 5:45 PM.
“Tobacco and Snow Covered Roads” - Common Market’s response
to Blue Scholars’ “Coffee and Snow” video