At around the 5:38 mark of the “We Are The World” video, Bruce Springsteen duets with Stevie Wonder, the camera pans across famous faces, Lionel Richie, Dan Akroyd and we, the audience, rise with the smaltzy chorus, our hearts bolstered for despite the evils of the world, at least celebrities can smile. Kanye West is going to remake this video with current celebs to benefit the victims of the Haiti disaster. Lil' Wanye will take the place of Bob Dylan.
But here in Seattle something strange has happened. The most troubling, insincere celebrity rehab assignment, the benefit concert, has been adopted by the painfully sincere denizens of Seattle's music community.
And thus, local hip hop stars Common Market are throwing a Haiti relief benefit concert at Nuemos toight. (Jonathan interviewed Sol, another one of the acts/organizers of the Neumos show yesterday.) All the openers are up and coming Seattle groups, the show is all ages and somehow a concert featuring a group named Dyno Jamz scans as genuine.
Really though, that's to Common Market's credit: The group is committed to rap as therapy, progressive rhymes that let disparate victims connect. MC RA Scion often mines his own blue collar, southern past, telling stories of American poverty that are broad enough for listeners to apply their own narrative, yet specific enough to mean something.
Sometimes Sabzi makes the beats, like on my favorite track “Tobacco Road” and it's a melancholy triumph. RA Scion raps dense lines about his choice to leave home while drums boom-bap plaintively and a piano line trys to break your heart.
Common Market plays Neumos this Thursday, Feb 4