Common Market - "Black Patch War"

Seeing as it's that time of year where students (myself included) are busy preparing for finals, I thought it might be applicable to give a short history lesson.  It’s not often that you hear an emcee spit about the plight of turn of the century tobacco farmers, but in “Black Patch War” (off of the Black Patch War EP) emcee RA Scion takes the perspective of a member of the Night Riders, tobacco farmers in Kentucky and Tennessee who banded together in protest of the American Tobacco Company which made it difficult for them to sell tobacco for a profit.  These Night Riders, were regarded as heroes among many farmers, and often resorted to violence against the ATC and farmers who continued to do business with them.  Eventually, they were able to force James B. Duke, owner of the ATC, into another investment—electricity—and the farmers began making a profit again.
I’m slightly biased towards the Seattle-based group; I’ve been a fan of Common Market since their debut, self-titled album back in 2005.  DJ/Producer Sabzi is one half of another, more prominent Seattle group, Blue Scholars, and RA Scion is one of my favorite rappers, with one of the more distinctive, rapid-fire deliveries that have graced my ears.  The group is a bit left-wing (as you can probably tell from the song), and won’t hesitate to tell you what they feel is wrong with the state of the world.

A lot of rappers make the mistake of thinking that you can’t rap about politics.  Honestly, you can rap about whatever you want as long as it sounds “cool.”  In this effect, “Black Patch War” succeeds masterfully.  Although it is RA Scion’s lyrics that bring substance to the song, it is Sabzi’s beats that make the song a powerful anthem.  The powerful, soulful samples would probably overwhelm a lesser emcee, but Scion is able to balance Sabzi with the certain sense of urgency with which he spits.  When I first heard this song, I had to repeat it a few times—I was simply blown away by the power of it.

I hope you enjoy.  If you have any comments on my music selection, my writing, music selection, or anything else, don’t hesitate to tell me.  I welcome all feedback, positive and negative alike.

Peace, Love, & Finals,
Gnostic Noah


  1. Never post the songs in .MP4 again and that's all. For the rest I've been visiting your blog daily, even when there are no updates.

    Keep doin you ... "Tap Out"

  2. I only do mp4 when I can't find an mp3 file...but thanks for checking in

  3. Didn't Sabzi move to NYC? That's what I've heard, and it really puts both the Blue Scholars' and Common Market's futures in question.

  4. It's the first I've heard about it. I'll have to look into it.