By Steven Graham
On May 16-17 the Everett Music Initiative (which I am a part of) is bringing the Fisherman’s Village Music Festival to downtown Everett. There will be 60+ bands on four stages over the weekend. Each week we will be highlighting one of those artists on the blog. This week we are talking about RA Scion.
Last year Seattle rapper RA Scion released The Sickle &the Sword with producer Rodney Hazard. After some contract disputes, the relationship between the two fell apart and Hazard’s representation told RA Scion he could no longer sell the album. In as cool a move as he could have possibly made, RA Scion decided to give the album away for free to anyone who wanted it.
After the dust settled a bit, RA Scion put out an open call for producers to submit beats for a fresh take on the new album. He got several submissions from producers and had initially thought that he would work with a different producer on each song but it just wasn’t coming together like he had hoped.
“I put it out there to see what would come back and I liked everything and learned about a lot of producers I may work with in the future, but trying to piece everything together just wasn’t working for me. I wasn’t feeling like it was a complete body of work. That’s when I decided I got to get one guy,” RA Scion said.
Enter Seattle electro mastermind producer VOX MOD.
“VOX is really hot and I like what he’s doing and he was the guy I wanted. It seemed like a natural pairing. I sent him a message online that just said ‘I have a proposition for you. Are you interested?’” Just like that The Sickle &the Sword was reborn as Sharper Tool; Bigger Weapon.
The original ambient sound of the album was different from anything RA Scion had done, so when it came time to reboot it wasn’t a tough decision to go in this electronic direction with VOX MOD.
“I didn’t want the songs to sound similar but I still wanted them to have the same aesthetic and VOX definitely works in that arena. We’re in the same building, I just think we are in a really different room.”
That couldn’t be truer. While the new version of the album sounds a great deal different from the last, there is still this epic and mysterious feeling about the songs. And, just like The Sickle &the Sword, Sharper Tool; Bigger Weapon sounds unlike anything else in hip hop today.
When asked if there was anything else he wanted people to know about this collaboration with VOX MOD, RA Scion said the best thing.
“I’m really hopeful that people who have been introduced to VOX MOD through this project will continue to follow his artistic journey just because he adds so much. I really respect him as a person and an artist and I want fans of mine to become fans of his.”
RA Scion and VOX MOD will release Sharper Tool; Bigger Weapon tonight at Neumos. The show is all ages and tickets are only $10. There will be copies of the new album available for sale at the show and you can also get it now on iTunes.