"Another black man in the morgue. And Wesley Snipes got three years for tax fraud. They locked Mike Vick up over a goddamn dog. Now if they was white and they used all that force, that'd be the same day they change the goddamn laws."
—Grafh "Not Guilty (The People's Verdict)"
RIP Sean Bell. A great big eat-shit-n-die goes out to the whole NYPD and the cowards who let those murdering pigs off. In 2008, America is on the verge of a new day, but here's the latest up-to-the-minute reminder that if your skin ain't white, your life still ain't worth a squirt of piss. This is why Pastor Wright says, "Goddamn America"—this is why I say it, and why a lot of people say it. Obama, I know you gotta play the game to get the ring, but you don't have to play out your boy. He ain't say shit that wasn't true. There's a war goin' on outside no one is safe from.
Then there's Black Patch War, the new seven-track EP from Common Market—the first new joint from RA Scion and Sabzi since their self-titled '05 LP. An appetizer before the full-length Tobacco Road LP drops later this year, BPW finds RA illustrating a link between the bloody history of the early-1900s tobacco farmers' uprising of the EP's title and himself, circa right now. On closing track "Bonanza," Sabzi cuts in lyrics from the underrated '90s Cali crew the B.U.M.S.—"A lot of suckers always front that we made it by luck"—as RA recounts his grind in the town, from nights performing at the Contour to putting up his own paycheck for prize money at the Sciontific Beatbox Battle (B-Shorty, I see you) a few years back. The entire effort is lyrically dense as hell, calling for repeat listens to decode Scion's signifying. And Sabzi's beats are way more boom-bap than his sweeping Bayani Blue Scholars sound.
The release party for Black Patch War is at the Vera Project (which also gets a shout-out on "Bonanza") on Friday, May 9, featuring D.Black, Khingz, and DJ Daps1. The next day, May 10, at Hell's Kitchen in Tacoma is the 253 release party, featuring two shows: an early all-ages jawn with Sportn' Lifer Spaceman and Abadawn, and a 21-plus show with Life Cycle and the Friday Knights (not the Saturday Knights mind you)—both feature the brash brolic-ness of the Tac's own Jay Barz.
Hold the fuckin' phone! One of my favorite MCs of all time, Royce da 5'9", is actually coming to Studio Seven on Thursday, May 8, (with Alpha P, Mind Movers, and another Detroit legend, Esham)! I'm a veterano Royce stan, fool—from the Slim Shady LP to his Game 12-inch singles to his mixtapes—I think the first thing I ever wrote was a review of Death Is Certain for Tablet some five years ago...
Oh, and before I forget... FREE WESLEY SNIPES!