Saigon’s much-anticipated follow up to GSNT dropped earlier this week without much fanfare, probably the way the NY emcee preferred. The mixtape is very different from last year’s top-seeded album, with many experimental records that the average listener wouldn’t really peg a rapper like Saigon to make. “I Am 4 Real” employs a classic OutKast sample that creates an energetic tone, while “Hungry” has very minimal production that’s unlike the average Sai-Giddy song. Of the two, “I Am 4 Real,” works better for his style, and accordingly Sai shines on it (you can’t really go wrong with a “Ms. Jackson” sample). I’d say it’s still too early to drop an end-all-be-all judgement on Warning Shots 3, but from a few preliminary listens I do have a couple thoughts that are worth sharing.
On one end, the radio show theme is still there and still very much as dope as it was the first time around. It’s such a genius way to transition from one song to the next, I’m surprised it hasn’t been done by thousands of artists before him. Also Saigon’s delivery has significantly improved. He’s now finishing off his lines with strength, and not sounding out of breath, like he did on GSNT (as technical of a thing as it is, it was the album’s lone weakness). On the flip side, I don’t think it’s as good as his widely acclaimed debut, simply because there is a lot of the aforementioned experimentation. The sounds vary too much from one another to belong under the umbrella of one project. But it’s no love lost.
Again, Warning Shots 3 is a mixtape, after all. I can handle it. If the artist doesn’t mess around and innovate now, there never will be any development and maturation.