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RA Scion The revolution may not be televised, but it must be internalized Seattle's RA Scion emerged on the scene in 2004 with his solo debut album 'Live & Learn', containing two productions of Sabzi, producer of Blue Scholars and also fellow member of the Baha Faith and co-founder of MassLine Media (with an artist roster that consists of the Blue Scholars, Gabriel Teodros and Common Market). Not much later this collabo resulted into the birth of Common Market, whose first self-titled album became undoubtedly one of 2005's highlights.

Common Market's self-titled debut album was released last year, but it's being re-released Oct 10, 2006, will it be available overseas?

Yes, that?s the plan. We?re actively workin? on a distribution deal that will aggressively solicit to the markets most cats are sleepin? on. While the majors are targeting Japan, we?re shifting the focus to places like Latvia.

How come you decided to re-issue the album?

The standard was set by the Blue Scholars; we?re simply trying to emulate their business model. 10,000 on the Soundscan report is a good look, homie.

Why the name Common Market?

Check Common?s ?Resurrection? album for a joint called ?Communism?. One day it?ll all make sense. Like water for chocolate.

How would you compare workin solo to workin with Sabzi?

It?s a lot like comparing intercourse to masturbation. Sabzi?s a great partner, but he never makes the bed.

In 'Connect For' you talk about the Seattle scene that must connect more, is that the purpose of the MassLine label, to connect Seattle acts?

Not exactly. MassLine serves a greater purpose; solidarity among the masses is not the intent of the effort, but rather the result of the work.

Who's down with the MassLine label?

Geo?s son, Sabzi?s little sister and about two dozen kids from Myspace.

Gabriel Teodros' upcoming masterpiece 'Lovework' is slated to drop January 2007, what can we expect from it?

?Hot, hot fiyah.?

Are you connected with Boom Bap Project, Grayskul, Cancer Rising, Abysinnian Creole?

In a ?Six Degrees of Separation?-kind of way, yeah, we?re all connected.

You lived for two years in Africa, how did that change your view on Western society?

Seeing young kids in Zambia wear TuPac t-shirts and listening to them recite lyrics from Eminem gave me a pretty good idea of the cultural impact hip-hop has made. I also gained a tremendous appreciation for toilet paper.

You made a song about monogamy, so how do you interpret polygamism of certain African tribes?

Yo , have you ever been to Utah, cousin?!?

What's more important? Selling a few albums more to people who ONLY listen to Sabzi's production, or getting a fan to open his mind about the world through your lyrics AFTER he downloaded the CM album from SoulSeek?

The first one. Emcees rant and rave all the fuckin? time about ?I got a message.? and ?listen to me.?, blah blah blah. The value of Common Market lies in Sabzi?s beats, now go cop that shit.

Would you ever consider becoming politician?

I consider myself one now.

?May God bless America?; how do you link Christianity with the policy of the American government?

Christianity has had a more profound effect on world government than any other religion in history, including Islam. If leaders who claim to be guided by religious conviction truly adhered to the tenets of their faith, there would be no problem, but there?s no place for religious zealots (of ANY denomination) in politics.

Could you briefly explain the Baha'I Faith?

To be a Baha?I means to love all of humanity and to strive each day to serve it well.

What made you decide to choose for the Baha'i faith, of all beliefs?

Persian food.

In your lyrics it's clear that you believe firmly in today's youth...you call em to change the world and urge em to revolt, how should we interpret that 'revolution'?

The revolution may not be televised, but it must be internalized. We all become revolutionaries of the greatest kind when we acknowledge the inner-struggle and start working towards reconciliation.

However, 'the problem with the revolution? It's never gonna happen!', agree?

More accurately, the revolution is constantly happening. The folks who are waiting for ?the revolution? to begin with a whistle-blow or a shot from a canon are no different than those who are waiting for Christ to return on a cloud. For those with eyes to see and ears to hear; it?s time to wake up!

Are you doing youth work?

I am, though not nearly as much as I?d like to be doing. Shout out to the youth worldwide who struggle to make sense of it all. Know that things get easier as time passes , liberation is not far.

What's a rapper's worth if he ain't a conscious rapper?

He?s simply unconscious.

I heard Rakim say that if Eminem would be black he would be the next Mohammed Ali, agree?

I?m born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, son, I lived just several blocks off Muhammed Ali Boulevard for years. I?ve met the greatest man alive on more than one occasion, and let me tell you this: I?ll slap the shit outta any motherfucker who EVER mentions Ali and Eminem in the same breath. On my mama.

On your Myspace, we can read that Chuck D is one of your influences but NOT Public Enemy, in what way is the individual more an influence than the group?

Not at all, Tribe and De La Soul were extremely influential to me, so it?s not just about one emcee gettin? the shine. Although in Tribe?s case, it really was just one emcee who got all the shine. Anyway, with PE, Chuck was the only one who had anything substantial to offer. The S1W?s were essentially useless, Flave was more of a joke than 911, and, you have to remember, in the late ?80?s nobody was really givin? the producer props the way they are now (read: Just BLAZE? and ?this is a Jazzee Phizzle produc-shizzle.? , what the fuck?!?), so Hank Shoklee and the Bomb Squad remained relatively unknown. That?s the way I sees it.

How important is performin to you as a way of communication?

If you?ve ever seen CM live, you?ll notice the absence of choreographed dance routines. This shit is more than just entertainment, homie. The message is everything.

When did you start rappin?

?.from the time of my first rhyme when I was 12 years old.?, somebody didn?t do their homework.

You got me there, RA! So tell me, what was your fist rap record?

Fat Boys , ?The Fat Boys Are Back?.

What rap artists are you listening to these days?

That new Roots joint is the first album I?ve purchased in years. And the new CL Smooth is my shit right now.

You said you feel more connected to East Coast rap, with all these underground artists coming up in the West/Northwest, has it evened out yet?

The connection has no relation to quality OR quantity, it?s a sentimental attachment. I will forever be a ?true school? disciple of that mid-90?s NY flavor. Period.

Anyone in particular you wanna collaborate with?

Wyclef. Seriously.

Have you ever done songs with Blue Scholars?

Yeah, a few. But they weren?t very good.

How was it to perform at the Sasquatch Festival? Not only Common Market but also the Blue Scholars were there, good relationships between the festival committee and Mass Line?

If nepotism qualifies as a ?good relationship?, then yeah.

What next is coming for RA Scion/Common Market/Mass Line?

Lemme check with Sabzi.

Aight, let us know soon. Thanks.

 

POSTED 10|02|2006
conducted by cpf

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