RA Scion is back, and–after his hip hop hiatus–he’s hungrier than ever. He recently released BEG X BORROW X STEAL, a 3-song EP and video in partnership with photographer Sean Hagwell and Northwest apparel brand Imperial Motion. “Power to the people; reclaim your freedom…” his website says in its brief description of the release. RA calls it a tribute to the Anonymous movement. While the emcee stays true to his authority questioning and political viewpoint, he delivers his latest material with a bazooka tooth persona that we haven’t heard since Common Market’s debut. The beats (MTK, DJ Phinisey, Dawhud) are on point and the visuals are top notch.
A lot has changed in Seattle hip hop in the last half-dozen years. Some of our favorite acts have moved on, blown up, or signed to Rhymesayers–can’t be mad at any of that. If changing times yield us more releases like BEG X BORROW X STEAL, I’ll keep the change…
Mr. Scion was gracious enough to answer some of our questions, don’t sleep:
Is this a new RA Scion we’re seeing? If so, how?
Of course it’s a new RA Scion, just as it should be. It’s a different Ryan Abeo. It’s a different job, and a different price of gold and a different group of friends. It’s a different day and time. I won’t waste any effort supporting the idea that it’s progression, but it is undoubtedly an evolution.
How has Seattle hip hop changed, from the early Massline days until now?
Talk about an evolution… There’s no way to quantify the “change,” truthfully, but make no mistake – Seattlehip hop in 2012 is not Seattlehip hop in 2006. It’s way better. It’s way bigger. It’s polarized for the right reasons, not the petty ones. The “scene” is finally accepting (and understanding) the reality that there is no scene; there is only community, and every community has a set of rules and regulations – a code of ethics. The weak shit dies (mostly because it can’t handle lack of acceptance by the community), and the impossibly brilliant shit (see: Shabazz Palaces) instills an essential sense of pride in the community. And the mediocre shit keeps us engaged, keeps us active, sustains us. We no longer give a fuck about the next big thing, or who’s next to blow – the deal now is you come real with it and pay your motherfuckin’ dues and you’re in good standing. Being in good standing should be the number one priority of every community member.
What’s your affiliation with Imperial Motion?
I was introduced to the good folks at IM thru my homegirl Grace Kim when she was at evo. I love what they do, creatively and socially. The store in tacoma(bleach) is first rate – definitely on the same level as GOODS and TRUE and a dozen other west coast boutiques. Just good peoples who’ve been very supportive, what more can I say?
What’s can fans expect from you in the future?
I’m working on my magnum opus right now – a full length album with a producer I’ve respected tremendously for years. My own expectations for the project are outrageous, and I don’t want others to develop similar expectations, so I plan to stay tight-lipped about it for the time being. We’ll see what pans out…
What is your personal favorite place in/ thing about Seattle?
I love the accessibility to good coffee thatSeattleoffers, but most of these baristas are straight up dickheads. I refuse to believe you have to be an asshole to pour the perfect rosetta.JoeBaron Capitol Hill is living proof – superb espresso, world class food and the friendliest staff in the city. I’ll ride for that spot ‘til the day it’s torn down to make room for new condos.
Don’t miss RA Scion live Feb. 25 at the Vera Project with a special Abyssinian Creole Set, hosted by Grynch. Enormous thanks to RA for his time and help. #outhere206