Although many people may have never heard of Saigon, he has been putting in quality work for almost a decade. This may be his first “official” album but the rapper has been steadily dropping quality since he burst upon the mixtape scene back in two thousand and two. He eventually found a home with super producer Just Blaze’s Fort Knocks Entertainment record label and has been trying to put out The Greatest Story Never Told ever since.
When it is said that this album is finally here that is an understatement. Previously slated to appear on Atlantic it never saw the light because of label politics. The album is over four years old yet, according to the Yardfather(Saigon), it is, “ninety percent the same.” Naturally with a four year hiatus you are going to cool off and the buzz that Saigon once had, while not all that long gone, is no where near the level it was. Would the content have the same problem? People have been waiting for this release for years and that being said a gargantuan mess of hype is surrounding it. Could this album possibly be worth the wait?
This CD is rife with collaborations though not to the point of nausea. Jay-Z, Q-Tip, Layzie Bone, and Faith Hill are some of the conspirators enlisted yet it is Saigon and his gritty NY, Brownsville swag that take this album over the top. Passion permeates through the speakers and you can sense that this album was a personal one.
In essence this album, slated to come out on Suburban Noize Records February fifteenth, is hard hitting. You can see why Saigon held it so near and dear and did not simply release it digitally or bootleg it after all this time. He really believed that he had something special with The Greatest Story Never Told and, I would have to say after listening I agree with that consensus. From front to back he beats you over the head with sharp wit that is conscious. I believe he could have done with out the skits but see how they may have been necessary to sculpt the mood. He pulled no punches.
Listening to this album you really get a feeling of fullness. Some have grown weary of the trite ABC pop raps that seem to be bombarding radio waves. You are not going to find any top forty hook heavy dance melodies on this one. What you will find is a politically charged street poet who throws some heavy content right at your kidneys. “Preacher”, “Enemies”, and “Better Way” show a different type of grit and they deliver a message as opposed to getting you to “drop it like it’s hot.”
For all intents and purposes this is a “older” album. “Believe It” leaked years ago but is no less hard hitting today. Siagon has put out a extremely well put together product from front to back and one that has withstood the test of time and still sounds fresh. The production is elite thanks mainly to Just Blaze who shows off his full arsenal. If I could lodge a small complaint it would be the length at which it took to put this CD out although, time did not rust the metal that is this finely constructed work of art. A true testament to the lyrical prowess that is Saigon.