Words by Ms. Krish
Ask yourself which Saigon you know better: the mixtape lyricist rockin’ the Just Blaze beats, the actor who portrayed himself on HBO’s Entourage, or the shit-outta-luck rapper that keeps getting his album shelved and falling under (beef and) bad times. Fast forward to now, right through the HBO cameos, his widely-publicized tussle with Prodigy, his “retirement announcement” via MySpace, his record label drama, and his uneventful beef with Joe Budden, and you’ve got his most recent offering with producer Statik Selektah called All In A Day’s Work, which was created in 24 hours. Not exactly enough time to explore such an unusual pairing, but who can blame the man for wanting to put something, anything out to keep him relevant as Saigon – formerly known as illest underground MC.
Clock-in time begins with “To Be Told,” which alludes to his frustration as an artist in constant delay and takes a shot at the “e-thugs” which he threatens to “control-alt-delete.” Idle threats aside, he weaves his storytelling in deftly and effortlessly. Plus the soul sample is one of many in the upcoming tracks, i.e. “My Crew” which incorporates a Jackson 5 sample, but the former punctuates his story best as the kick-off.
The mood quickens when “So Cruel” continues his braggadocio, and a break in the first part has him admitting the challenges of rhyming over Selektah’s beats “on some real MC shit”. “The Rules” draws a definitive line between Saigon and the others, biggin’ up the Duck Down prototype of an MC and using Busta on the hook, urging the up-and-coming artists to pay dues. Sure, its another wistful yearning for the NY model of rap and yet another attack on Soulja Boy, but Selektah manages to keep the momentum going over the played out old-verses-new shtick. That and the fact it was a mere two verses like many of the other tracks.
Despite hints of chemistry early on, All In A Day’s Work doesn’t always get the job done. “Prepare for War” is perhaps, the biggest let-down of the album. With a title like that, one would expect Saigon to unleash lyrical arsenals go in and the lackadaisical tempo doesn’t allow it. Statik not without blame, drops “Lady Sings the Blues” and “Lose Her” which sound akin to Murs & 9th Wonder throwaways. Selektah might’ve saved those gems for someone more comfortable with the emo flow.
The album winds down with “The Reason,” as Prince croons ad-libs in the back while The Yardfather chronicles the downfall of certain musicians compromising their style to sell. Earning the distinction of the most introspective and honest song on the album, it might have suited the tracklisting gods to leave the album on that note, but Sai ends with “I Warned You” and brings the content back to full circle almost as a whisper of things to come. (The Greatest Story Never Told anyone?)
The biggest adjustment is hearing Saigon on Selektah’s souled-out samples. To the hardcore fan, it might take a little getting-used-to hearing him spit over the likes of Prince interpolations. And with all the hold-ups in his music career, it’s uncertain if a hastened product will add to the anticipation or go down as a half-assed publicity stunt. But considering the time it took to complete, it’s effective at establishing cementation. Saigon might have rushed to put it out, but his skill isn’t going anywhere and time is still on his side.
Saigon & Statik Selektah’s All In A Day’s Work is available for purchase at Amalgam Digital.
Previously Posted — Saigon – “The Rules”
“The Chase Is On” – Review Of Statik Selektah’s The Lost & Damned EP
Words by TC
If you’re the type of gaming fan who prefers Hip-Hop over Rock to be accompany you alongside all the murder and mayhem Liberty City has to offer, then Statik Selektah’s The Lost & Damned EP has enough gas in its tank to help you do the crime in your stolen Infernus. With artists like Freeway (“Car Jack”) and Skyzoo (“The Chase Is On”) delivering corresponding diatribes and Termanology’s “Here In Liberty City” serving as proper theme music, Statik Selektah’s packing a six-shooter with plenty of bang for your buck.