Much like the Harlem
Nights release from Whoo Kid that dropped not too long ago, another emcee is
shortchanged on the mixtape front with the collaboration. In actuality, it's
the heads who are shortchanged; but on a more positive note, the heads who don't
know should NOW KNOW who the fuck Saigon is. Saigon is, inevitably, the greatest
mixtape emcee to hit the streets since 50 Cent. By that, I mean, the combination
of skills and material is no iller than that of Saigon right now. It appears
many have taken a liking to Papoose, who's been remarkable in transforming himself
from battle rap moniker to that of a deep, introspective gutter machine. With
all respect due, Saigon is that combination of prophetic raps of Nas, political
dexterity of dead prez, and hood firmness of Fiddy. Sounds like I'm on man's
dick hard with all this, but allow "Color Purple" and "Stocking
Cap" to speak by its sound. The former packs an all out vicious drum roll
while Sai mocks the constant foolishness of the Red and Blue who can't seem
to get along-is it more of a game than necessity? ("They ain't care about
Cobey Scott / Mike Conception, whether he was an O.G. or not / Wish somebody
woulda told me to stop / Shit, I used to shoot a lot / It was like givin' Kobe
the rock ") The lethal fake thug-bashing "Stocking Cap"
was a favorite from Warning Shots, his compilation of street classics and freestyles
that too many slept on, so it's soulful Alchemist addition is a treat here.
"Shok TV," the last track of the 3-minute, err 30-minute mixtape (also
the last song on Shots) is Saigon's cover of Cormega's "62 Pickups,"
or more suitably over the soundtrack to Hill Street Blues, his conscious effort
in helping those enliven a better living condition.
is another amazing track, new to my ears, with more soul samples and more real
talk and consequences Saigon has both avoided and taught to cats in the struggle.
"All I Know," also been out for a minute, captures Sai fluently flipping
the verbal clips over more of the same smooth New Jack flava. Much like the
old mixtape Fiddy, Saigon croons his hooks effortlessly as well as his flows.
Unfortunately, the track stops at less than 2-minutes. "Breathe Thru the
Years" speaks about the typical everyday jive floating around the peers
of those who didn't play it right: "Yo why idn'it that in whatever case
/ Somebody died they say that he in a better place / Even though when he was
alive he never pray cause he was too busy focusin' on the chedda chase / You
think God just wiped all of his sins away? / You think the reverends convincin'
all of his friends today? / You think they really believe tho he was dealin'
keys / That he be up in heaven with some of them ill emcees? / Please "
Again, the production is spectacular. How one can compare Saigon to other mixtape
emcees without actually hearing original production from them is beyond me.
Lyrical tenacity and grave knowledge also could be too much to bear for those
used to the one word simplicity from current thugs floodin' the market. Are
they gonna label this kid underground? Label him next level. Exemplified by
the change-up flows on "True Story" over the swaying violins, and
rapid rap aeroballistics of "The Letter P" with the legendary Kool
G. Rap (not "Dirty Biz" kids), not too many seein' Sai. The only track
I'm not feelin' production wise is "Repercussions" with its half loop
of BDP's "My Philosophy," all the while lyrically, again, it's amazing.
Saigon spits through the cynics of the industry before you realize what was
just said. Lots of rewind material on Abandoned Nation and that's DJ Whoo Kid's
thankful saving element.