Common Market | Black Patch War EP
Most Likely To: make you party like it’s 1993.
Listening to Common Market’s Black Patch War EP, it’s easy to understand how a love of 1990s east coast hip-hop brought the duo of Sabzi and RA Scion together. Most of the tracks are filled with the slinky, coltish spirit of acts like De La Soul and Jungle Brothers, and Sabzi’s delivery is that of the gleefully retro variety that made Jurassic 5′s early recordings so successful. Which is not to suggest that Common Market are repackagers of bygone sounds–far from it. The strength of this release comes from imbuing its classic characteristics with a gifted, original verve.
Over the course of seven songs, the pair illustrate a knack for inventive beats and elastic flows whose dexterity suggests Common Market would find themselves equally at home on any number of branches in hip-hop’s increasingly far reaching family tree. The hard drum machine snares and tongue-twisting lyrics of “Trouble Is” make it the most modern sounding of the assembled tracks, yet it still manages to sidle in inconspicuously alongside the more old-school numbers. We’ve already dissected the successful title track, an ambitiously thematic composition, so suffice it to say that it is a marvelous way to launch this mini-album. “Oldham Era” is a minimalist jam that utilizes a droopy bassline to great effect.
Lyrically, the record is a chip off the old conscious hip-hop block; however, the EP never dips its toe into the danger zone associated with that movement, namely of writing that swerves dangerously toward the preachy or inane. Instead, the combination of beats and prose is flawlessly balanced, each complementing the other at every turn of phrase. As with the laidback “Red Leaves,” Black Patch War is a perfect example of how looking backward is one of the best ways to be forward thinking.
Listen to the title track from Common Market’s Black Patch War EP: