Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The next great rapper - Saigon (pt 1 of 2)

To celebrate the news of Atlantic Records giving a December 4th release date to Saigon's long awaited debut album "The Greatest Story Never Told" I'm posting the first of two parts to introduce Saigon to many people who might not have had the opportunity to hear his music. I found it kind of interesting that they chose Jay-Z's birthday as the release date. I wonder if they're going to do anything with that. Anyways, back to the post...

Anytime someone asks me who are my favorite rappers in the game now there are only two rappers that come to mind. Cormega & Saigon. While Mega (short for Cormega) has three critically acclaimed solo albums out, Saigon has never released an official album.

You're probably thinking "How is he your favorite rapper if he's never released an album?" Well, the answer to that is mixtapes (AKA Mix cd's. Some still refer to them as mixtapes cause they used to be tapes, but today they're all cd's)

Saigon's first mix cd "Best of Saigon" was released in 2003 with DJ Whoo Kid & DJ Kay Slay and he's been releasing classic mix cds ever since.

I first picked up Saigon's 12" single "Say Yes/Contraband" in 2001. At the time Rawkus was the most respected rap label because they were releasing classic records by the likes of Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch, Reflection Eternal, Blackstar, and many other quality vinyl-only classics. I picked the vinyl single up cause I figured odds are there'd be something good on there cause of Rawkus' track record of releasing quality material. At the very least, I thought that I'd get another dope Alchemist instrumental to use.
I was blown away with the lyricism of Saigon on both Say Yes and Contraband for two different reasons. Say Yes had multi rhyme patterns in a catchy chorus that at the same had a anthem feel to it.

"If you be living for death and don't be giving an F
Then hit a pig in the vest and say yes (yes!)
If you be puffing the cess and laying sunk in the S
Then punch a punk in the chest and say yes (yes!)
If you a gangsta, hustla, thugsta that bust slugs
N*gga that don't trust hugs, and don't f*ck with the bustas
Hold a blunt in your right and raise your left
You blessed so you should just say yes (yes!)"

Contraband blew me away because cause of how his lyrics showed that he was a thinker. It was an ill concept that he asked a question then gave four thought-provoking answers in a multiple choice format while at the same time wove them together with ill multi-rhyme patterns.

"The fourth question's a question that's still in me
Who do y'all n*ggas think it was that killed Biggie?
A, southside crips cause Puffy owed 'em a grip
B, some crazy Pac fan that flipped and unloaded a clip
C, missiles from pistols of government officials
D, the same cat that came back and then sang I missed you..."

How can you listen to that and not think "hmmmm?" I don't think that Puffy did it, but it's an interesting question. The point is that he would raise a question that makes you think? Now ask yourself, how common is that with any music artist?

I'll give one song with this update and give you two more on the next update. After listening to the songs in the next two posts you'll get an idea of some of the incredible songs that this man has already released eventhough he's yet to release his debut album.

The Color Purple - This Scram Jones produced banger is a song where he reaches out to talk to gang members to end gang violence. It's lyrical & catchy but not corny.

"It's been a long time coming but I'm about to change things
Holla at these kids that like to gang bang
whether you real wit' it or just playin' games
whether you maintain or bangin' that thang thang
if you're bumpin' this in your whip you should change lanes
slow up and get your brain on the same frame
we all bleed the same blood through the same veins
we all need the same love, feel the same pain..."

To purchase Saigon merchandise (cds, dvds, etc) you can go to his store here. And before anyone asks, yes this is the same guy from the HBO tv show Entourage (where he plays himself). (that's in the acting sense, so my words don't get twisted)

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