“Slow Cure” (Click to Preview)
“Scion’s flow is liquid, with superb word choice and breath control, while anyone who has heard Rawkus’ Blue Scholars knows Sabzi’s old-school soul fueled beats easily rival those of 9th Wonder.” – Pop Matters
“Common Market have created a work that’s brought them closer to the region of hiphop greatness. This is no exaggeration.” – The Stranger
“Tobacco Road” showcases a more lyrically engaged RA Scion (who is probably my favorite emcee in the game as we speak!) over Sabzi’s (ditto for Sab’s production) most creative and melodic compositions to-date. It is laden with heavy introspection and RA Scion’s staunch personal convictions on life, love and art with meaning, but is noticeably absent of the feeling of pseudo-evangelical idealism. Where Common Market carried youthful directives such as “liquor stores [should be] raised to make way for art galleries,” the more mature “Tobacco Road” is circumspect in its approach: “…planted seven rows – will it ever grow? Heaven only knows… Set it deep into the earth, work and serve, all the rest – let it come or not…”
The album begins by setting the scene in rural Kentucky where the audience attends a fiery Southern Baptist sermon pertaining to honest labor. The intensity of the pastor’s delivery coupled with the implication of his assertion “NO FREE RIDES!” adequately prepares the listener for what is to come on “Trouble Is,” the album’s cornerstone track, craftily establishing the proverbial farmer as the LP’s central character. The struggle of the farmer continues on tracks such as “Gol’Dust” and “Slow Cure,” as it becomes evident to the discerning listener that he and the emcee are, in fact, one in the same. “Tobacco Road”, from beginning to end, is an allegorical tale of service to the community from the perspective of an active participant; it touches freely on the good, the bad, and often times the ugly.
The album is not an “easy read,” however, and was not fashioned to be fully digested in a single sitting. “Tobacco Road” is comprised of 18 tracks, within which lie hidden gems which the listener will appreciate with dedicated discovery. Upon closer examination, you’ll find the incorporation of seasonal progression in reference to the album’s agricultural influence. But as important to this album is it’s groove and fantastic production. Sabzi has prepared a masterpiece complete with hard-hitting drums, soul-drenched samples and authentic piano compositions; the album’s outro, a 90-second impromptu display of Sabzi’s command over the ivories, serves as an expert auditory summation of all the emotion packed into “Tobacco Road”. Bottom Line…even if you’ve slept on “Black Patch War”, you sure as hell don’t wanna’ miss out on this as evidenced by the quality of the single drop “Tobacco War”.