I'll forever call it home and I'll feel it whenever I call home.
It occurs to me that I don't have an individual post highlighting one of my favorite songs of the genre. There's a reason that this track made the final four in our gigantic 64-Song Seattle Hip Hop Bracket--nearly everything about this song is perfect.
In my youth (circa four years ago), I used to prefer Common Market's self-titled debut. Between Sabzi's horns and RA Scion's lyricism and hopeful message, 2005's Common Market was an absolute triumph of golden age sound. But as I've spun the duo's sophomore album more often in the past couple years, I've come to realize that Tobacco Road is a northwest classic in its own right.
It's a more mature, less hopeful album. Sabzi ditches the horns in favor of subtle synths, organs and drums while Scion confronts personal loss and the effects of the growing recession. From the opening sermon to the fiery "Trouble Is" to "Slow Cure" to "Winter Takes All" to "Nina Sing" to "Certitude" to the heartwarming closing title track, there isn't a single skippable song on the eighteen track LP.
The album is a journey through life that doesn't leave Scion without his fair share of scars. Scion confronts the loss of friends and the suicide of his father, Jimmy, that he had previously touched on in "His Eminence." It's clear that this process weighs down on him, which is why "Tobacco Road" is the perfect way to conclude the album.
Despite all that he's gone through, RA Scion is able to maintain that hopeful message on "Tobacco Road." It's simultaneously a touching tale of growing up, lost friends, the lasting impact of home on one's life, and finally of leaving home confident that, though you may never return, you'll always have a place where you are loved.
Whether you are leaving home or graduating from college or simply feeling homesick, it's a beautiful song meant to warm your soul and bring a smile to your face during those transitional periods in your life. Enjoy.
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