Common Market Tobacco Road

If you’ve never heard RA Scion rap before, it really is something to experience. He possesses an impressive vocabulary, meshes it with a rapper’s drawl, always has total control over his words and wraps them around the beats beautifully. In the case of Common Market, it’s producer Sabzi’s melodic, piano-laced beats. Fresh off a critically acclaimed EP (Black Patch War), the duo return with Tobacco Road, a loose concept album dedicated to a Kentucky farmer. From opener "Trouble Is” to swan song "Tobacco Road,” Common Market document the farmer’s rise and struggle in a narrative reminiscent of Upton Sinclair’s Oil! Even the songs that deviate from the theme display an explosive storytelling style. There are definitely Christian undertones to all that RA Scion raps but it’s more humbling than preachy. Tobacco Road is a stellar album that begs for repetitive front-to-back play. (Hyena)