The Greatest Story Never Told
04:00PM ET February 27th, 2011
Contributor: DeAndre Rozan
A Rocky Williform Company
He was this close to becoming a trivia question. Or at the very least, he was about to become the subject of numerous 'whatever happened to...?'-style inquiries. New York's Saigon rose to prominence alongside the 50 Cents and Papoose's of the world, by making a name for himself on the early 2000s mixtape circuit. But despite a deal with Atlantic Records, a solid reputation as a rhymer and numerous appearances on HBO's hit show "Entourage," very little official music came from Sai. In comparison to 50 and 'Poose, Saigon's career was much closer to the latter than the former.
But the wait is over.
The newly-independent Saigon has finally released his long-awaited official debut, The Greatest Story Never Told, and while the web buzz of upstart superstars like Drake led to disappointing results, Saigon's under-the-radar cult following should be ecstatic with what they hear from the Mooseknuckle native.
Sai is thoughtful and has social commentary on his mind for much of the album. The opener, . Q-Tip and Fatman Scoop give an anthemic feel to the soulful "The Invitation," one of Just Blaze's most lush productions since his Blueprint days. "Preacher" takes aim at church pastors manipulating their congregations, and is a funky put-down of those who take advantage of those who would follow them. "Come On, Baby" features Jay-Z, but Sai fans will recognize this track as recycled mixtape fodder. Not bad, but not wholly remarkable either.
Just Blaze offers up some of his best production throughout the album and Saigon's rhymes are as nimble and focused as ever. With a growing number of releases focused squarely on the club or the charts, its a welcome change to hear a record as conceptualized as The Greatest Story... And Sai has an excellent roster of guests backing him up on his musical journey; from Faith Evans to Bun B. to Black Thought.
The Greatest Story Never Told may have had a complex and frustrating history, but it has been well worth the wait. Saigon has released an album that should remind everyone what inspired hip hop sounds like. A rapper with a sense of purpose is still capable of making staggeringly good music.
Some of yall must've forgot...