Common Market (hip hop group)
Common Market performs at the Capitol Hill Block Party in Seattle, July 2006.
|Origin||Seattle, Washington, U.S.|
|Genres||Hip-hop, Northwest hip hop|
|Associated acts||Blue Scholars|
Common Market was a hip hop duo based in Seattle, Washington with members RA Scion and DJ and producer Sabzi. The two members were individually active hip hop artists in the Pacific Northwest since 2002, but collectively combined their talents in 2005 to form Common Market.
Sabzi started his career as DJ and producer in another hip hop duo, Blue Scholars. RA Scion gained musical skill while in Zambia, but later began a solo career, playing a new style of hip hop with a spiritual message, inspired by his membership in the Bahá'í Faith. RA Scion and Sabzi's paths crossed through their Bahá'í contacts, and their political and spiritual approach to hip-hop music.
In an interview on Seattle radio station 107.7 The End, the duo stated that their new album is titled Tobacco Road and is scheduled for release "on your mom's 50th birthday." In preparation for the album, Common Market released the EP Black Patch War on May 20, 2008. Tobacco Road was released September 9, 2008, followed by a CD release party on September 11, 2008 at Neumo's in Seattle. In September 2008, Common Market released a music video for the single "Trouble Is". The video was shot by director Zia Mohajerjasbi and was filmed at sites around Monroe, Washington. Also, RA Scion has his first solo album known as Live and Learn and his 2010 solo album known as Victor Shade with producer MTK. RA Scion announced on Twitter, he has a new solo project with a different producer, Todd Sykes, releasing either late 2012, or early 2013.
As of April 2013, Ra Scion and Sabzi are no longer collaborating as a music group.
Common Market were winners in the eighth annual Independent Music Award for Rap/Hip-Hop Album.
Collaboration and first album
After collaborating on several tracks on RA Scion’s 2004 solo project, Live and Learn, the duo began working in an attic-based studio for what would eventually become the 14-track self-titled debut, released in October 2005. An advance copy caught the ear of KRS-One, who praised the album and RA Scion for “spitting in the tradition of the conscious hiphop movement.” KRS-One then drove up to perform at Common Market’s album release party in Seattle, then taking the duo on the road with him on the Temple of Hiphop tour.
Distinguishing this album from his previous body of work, Sabzi combined his talents as a DJ to RA Scion's lyrics and talents as a performer. The album was hailed by fans as a remarkable improvement over any of their previous works. Common Market takes on questions about religion, politics and the state of mainstream hip-hop. At the core of Common Market’s music is a critical, unapologetic world view that change is not only necessary, it is inevitable, and can only come about through having love for and serving the people.
In the brief time since Common Market released their debut album, the duo has gathered praise as Seattle Weekly’s 2006 Best New Artist and performing slots on grand stages such as the Sasquatch Festival and The Capitol Hill Block Party. They have shared the stage with KRS-One, Zion I, Ghostface Killah, The Coup, Guru of Gangstarr, and the Blue Scholars. The album’s regional success, along with the wave of Northwest hip-hop, has poised the group for a serious push into the national scene, as the Common Market LP has been mixed and mastered by Seattle music engineer Martin Feveyear and repackaged with new album cover art. Common Market will be the first official new release of Mass Line, a co-op indie record label run by Common Market, Blue Scholars and Gabriel Teodros. The label's mission statement includes the goal of using hip hop as a means of grassroots community organizing and youth outreach.
Ryan Abeo (RA Scion) was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1974 and briefly attended Northern Kentucky University before moving on to start a family. He has lived all over the globe, calling home to such places as Zambia and Greece before settling with his family in the Pacific Northwest.
- Common Market (Pacific Northwest release, 2005)
- Common Market (national release, 2006)
- Black Patch War (May 20, 2008)
- Tobacco Road (September 9, 2008 on Hyena/Massline) U.S. Billboard Heatseekers #50
- The Winter's End (March 24, 2009 on Hyena/Massline, digital only)
- Common Market Official Website
- Common Market Myspace page
- MassLine Website
- Review of Black Patch War EP at The Donnybrook Writing Academy
- Ra Scion Website
- Details published in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
- Live interview with Sabzi and RA Scion. 107.7 The End. October 19, 2007.
- According to this review by Keith Adam, this quote is on a sticker on the album's cover.
- The full story was published in Seattle's alternative newspaper, The Stranger.
- This observation comes from a review at okayplayer.com
- One show was mentioned in the Seattle Weekly
- This noted in a CD review by Seattle Weekly
- The full story on the record label published in The Stranger
- Heatseekers, Billboard.com