But, appropriately enough, it came out today, on Halloween. Trick or treat yourself to what’s easily Seattle rapper RA Scion’s best record, a triumphant hip hop journey that takes listeners from the dawn of the universe to the end of the world, and into outer space.
Actually though, all poetry aside, the album does end with humanity forming a space colony. In The Sickle & The Sword, gorgeous ambient production from Rodney Hazard buoys a dense tale of human progress in the face of global turmoil, a reflection on ancient traditions, and a reawakening of Earth based spirituality that finds RA Scion referencing pagan harvest festivals , cat worshipping covens , and Native American ecological philosophy.
“We have a connection to the Earth and with the elements. If you loose that connection, your soul is lost,” RA Scion tells me.
Above: RA Scion, Daniel Blue, and Rodney Hazard
"It's the Earth. It’s the mother, It’s the origin of all things physical. So you destory it, you contaminate it, you disturb it in so many ways and it has a profound effect. That’s what happens at the end of the album. It starts to talk about contamination, and disease and poison. And then you get to starvation. Things have been ruined to the point that they no longer provide nutrients to the human body, so they no longer benefit the soul. So we blast off to outer space.”
Within the three branches of “Northwest Mysticism” from yesterday’s article, RA Scion is very much a “Cryptic Apocalyptic.” The new album is a dense, spiritual statement on interconnectedness, as well as a call to action.
“When we lose this connection,” RA Scion says, “when we destroy what provides for us and where we come from, there will be nothing left for us. Are we prepared for that?”
The album features a number of guest spots, including American Idol runner-up Blake Lewis and fellow Cryptic Apocalyptic, Greg Cypher of Kung Foo Grip. Check out the gorgeous video for the album’s first single “Constant” here , witch features Motopony’s Daniel Blue.
RA Scion’s album release party is Nov. 14 at Neumos.