By Rahman Dukes
For years rapper Saigon promised to reclaim New York's rap crown. Instead, the MC was hampered by label politics, but not anymore.
Sai, a Brooklyn-to-Spring Valley, New York transplant, was working diligently on his debut album The Greatest Story Never Told with super producer Just Blaze, and has been for the last several years. He and Just have ultimately cooked up, what some say, is the Big Apple’s follow-up to Notorious B.I.G.'s Ready To Die. And despite his numerous major label setbacks, Saigon has remained humble, knowing his day would come. Now The Greatest Story Never Told has arrived and RapFix took a listen.
Nestled in a New York studio, the MC recently unveiled his trying story to a select group, saying the LP is slated to hit shelves in February 2011—just in time for Black History Month.
The title track "The Greatest Story Never Told," produced by Just Blaze, opens the album with a roar. The next song, entitled "The Invitation," boasts Saigon alongside Q-Tip, who mans the hook with hypeman Fat Man Scoop. "Who got Q-Tip rapping on a jail record" asked Sai, with a wide smile.
On "Bring Me Down" the MC rides over a guitar-laced sample, which could be seen as outside of his realm. "This is my version of a rock record" explained Sai. "This was actually the last record I recorded."
"GSNT" also features Just Blaze's production and right before playing "Come On Baby" featuring Jay-Z, which hit the Internet several years ago, the MC joked that Just’s greatest gems slipped through his hands and into Mr. Carter’s lap. "But the homey did me a big favor getting on this record," Sai said with a laugh.
“You ain't crazy, don't you play me, don't you know it's Jay-Z? When Internets ask who's the best, why won't you say me?” Jay spits on the track.
Shifting gears, R&B singer Raheem DeVaughn is featured on the female-friendly "Give It To Me." Elsewhere Faith Evans contributed to "Clap" and transports the listener directly to church.
"Faith was nine months pregnant when she recorded this song and she made this record,” said Saigon. “You ever been to church?"
Speaking of religion, "Preacher," a cut exploring the often controversial world of ministers, was next. "This is some of the sh-- people never talk about," said the rapper in reference to the track's topic, which immediately conjured Atlanta's embattled Bishop Eddie Long.
The LP's standout track is “Oh Yeah (Our Babies)” because Saigon recorded young kids, rattling off horrific tales they'd each witnessed firsthand. "I met these kids and they're real kids. This is probably one of my favorite songs on the album cause its so real," Sai recalled.
As expected, The Greatest Story Never Told explains the MC's regrettable path to manhood as a young kid in the streets.
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