Saigon’s “debut” album was definitely worth the wait. Whether you listen to this album for its top-notch production (supplied mostly by Just Blaze) or the surprisingly matured lyrical offerings of Saigon, this album shows that sometimes artists that receive a lot of hype actually deserve it. Saigon has managed to release an album that proves what he has been saying for years now, that he is the real deal.
Even if you haven’t followed Saigon’s journey to this point, just the caliber of guest spots on this release should be enough to give pause: Swizz Beatz, Jay-Z, Q-Tip, Faith Evans, Raheem DeVaughn and Marsha Ambrosius. Nowhere in this roster is there some no name rapper trying to ride in on Saigon’s effort. Most rappers wouldn’t be able to shine past a roster like this, and as much as I hate clichés, it’s evident Saigon isn’t most rappers.
Saigon is a lyrical monster, hands down. In the past he seemed to have buckled under the pressure to make a club song, an extra hard thug song, or a gimmicky song because that’s what people were checking for. On this outing Saigon clearly had more creative control on what he wanted to say and the album is better for it. Tracks like “Clap”, “The Invitation” and “Believe It” show Saigon’s ability to speak his mind without sounding like he is trying to be more than what he is. The track “Preacher” is going to ruffle feathers but it’s what many people think but only Sai is willing to put on wax.
Just Blaze’s production is a perfect fit to Saigon’s lyrics and flow. These two sound like they have been around for more than this album. If they continue to work together in the future they would easily fall into the same category as Eric B. & Rakim or Gangster: duos doing damage.
All in all this is a solid release. Saigon went all in and showed why he is and will continue to be a force to be reckoned with. At one point Saigon refers to himself as “the next Public Enemy.” After hearing this album, Saigon might just be on to something.
- J. Hyde