Album Review- Saigon- The Greatest Story Never Told

So another Atlantic records artist who has been in purgatory over there for a while recently dropped an album along with Lupe. Saigon is one of the more well known underground mc's and he has been trying to get his album released for at least four years now. A former inmate, he is known as more of a conscious thug, one who can speak on it because he has been there.

The album starts with a jailhouse skit and the "The Invitation" which features some ad-libs from Fatman Scoop and Q-tip. This is a concept song where Saigon treats prison like a party and that the invitation comes in the form of selling crack. It's actually a very good idea and creative as well. "Bring Me Down" is a traditional hip-hop song about how different people are trying to bring about your downfall and the fight to keep that from happening. "Enemies" has a terrible hook, but a good message about the friends that end up ruining your life. It is followed up by "Friends" which is just a continuation of the same song but shows the artistic type of album layout and feel that Saigon brings as opposed to a lot of other 'street' rappers.

"The Greatest Story Never Told", the title track is about how current hip-hop music doesn't truly reflect the lives of those it is marketed to. This song is about changing hip-hop and its effects, a little better than the average song of this type. "Believe it" is a song that is about Saigon's own personal story and another critique of the industry.

"Clap" with Faith Evans is more social commentary as is "Preacher" which features Lee Fields and the Expressions, as Saigon talks about the corrupt church leaders in the hood. "Its Alright" with Marshia Ambrosius, is telling everyone that no matter what we have been through, things will be alright in the end. "Give It To Me" doesn't really fit in with the socially responsible message that covers most of the album, especially having Raheem Devaughn on the hook. Devin the Dude is on "What the Lovers Do" where Saigon tries to talk the panties off of his girlfriend who is saving herself. "Better Way" with Layzie Bone is another song about how Saigon found rap and used it to his advantage to get off of the streets and survive. "Our Babies" has some children talking about what they see and go through in the hood in lieu of a hook as Saigon once again talks about these rappers whom he feels are doing a disservice to the community by not talking about the negative things in the hood.

"And the Winner is" with Bun B is one song I don't care for, as Saigon tries to sum up his entire album. Don't forget the original single for this album which came out years ago, "Come on Baby" which features Swizz Beats and a rare appearance from Jay-z.

Saigon is a solid rapper, though maybe not the best lyricist, he has the ability to tell the truth, and be authentic. The problem is that at times he gets to be too preachy about other rappers and sometimes forgetting that he himself can just address the issue he feels that they are overlooking. The production from Just Blaze is mostly solid (not like the garbage he used to give Memphis Bleek) and the album never feels like it gets too monotonous, nor are there any songs that just sound totally out of place. It may be slightly dated, but the songs hold up well, with those few small issues.

Rating: 4/5


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