Greatest Story Never Told(Explicit Version) CD (2011)

Artist: Saigon

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Product Overview


Label Suburban Noize/red
SKU 219503629
UPC 673951027121
UPC 14 00673951027121
Format CD
Release Date 2/15/2011
Author Saigon
Associated Artist/Work Drama (DJ Drama)
Associated Artist/Work Drama (Rap)
Associated Artist/Work Saigon, Drama
Artist Influence 50 Cent
Artist Influence Beanie Sigel
Artist Influence Dead Prez
Artist Influence Jay-Z
Artist Influence Mos Def
Artist Influence Nas
Artist Contemporary Cassidy
Artist Contemporary French Montana
Artist Contemporary Grafh
Artist Contemporary Immortal Technique
Artist Contemporary Joell Ortiz
Artist Contemporary Lupe Fiasco
Artist Contemporary Papoose
Artist Contemporary Re-Up Gang
Artist Contemporary Termanology
Technical Info
CatalogID NZECD271
Lable Name Suburban Noize
Released 2011
Original Release 2011
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 78m : 52s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
Musical Guests
Fatman Scoop
Swizz Beatz
Faith Evans
Lee Fields
The Expressions
Marsha Ambrosius
Raheem DeVaughn
Devin The Dude
Layzie Bone
Bun B
Black Thought
Album Notes and Credits
Recording information: Baseline Studios; Stadium Red.
Photographer: Piper Carter.
It's hard to believe that The Greatest Story Never Told is officially Saigon's debut album. The Brownsville, Brooklyn MC first started talking about it, by name, back in 2004, in his Warning Shots mixtape, posted updates about it in 2006, announced its arrival in 2007, and now, finally, after various setbacks legal and otherwise, put it out in early 2011. This also means that most of these songs have been done for a while -- "Come on Baby" even leaked in 2007, albeit in slightly different form, and there are references to events, like Katrina, that while certainly not irrelevant, are not quite as much in the musical parlance as they were a couple of years prior (add this to the fact there's a "hidden" track, "Too Long," which comes after two minutes of silence, and you wonder if Saigon hasn't realized people often buy mp3s before CDs).
These are just small complaints, though, because not only is most of what Saigon says pertinent, it's spot on. He's an intelligent rapper, and has clearly matured in the time it's taken for the album to be released (even the distance between Greatest Story. and his 2009 mixtape, Warning Shots 2 -- which featured the track "For Some Pussy" -- is striking). Which isn't to say he's any less angry about the socio-economic conditions hindering the inner city, but he seems less likely to strike out, less bitter about his own experiences. This makes for a more focused record -- an almost impressive accomplishment considering the album spans 18 tracks and nearly 80 minutes; he has his topics ("It's realer than 9/11, I rhyme about lying reverends/.I rap about politicians, how money's their acquisition/to get it, they gotta keep us without a pot to piss in," he outlines in the excellent title track) and he's sticking to them. This focus, this continuity, is helped immensely by Just Blaze, who handles almost all of the production, and keeps things from ending up as indulgent and sprawling (Saigon is also signed to Blaze's Fort Knocks Entertainment label). Blaze has always been a very involved, musically attuned producer, and his attention to detail is evident here, from the alarm clock motif to the way he transitions between tracks. The long stretch from "Clap" to "Give It to Me," for example (five otherwise excellent songs that all should've been trimmed by a couple of minutes), is made manageable, even enjoyable, by the way the MC and the producer work to connect both the musical and lyrical content. "Clap," which has Sai rhyming about community action, moves into a gospel-y hook by Faith Evans, and then the beginnings of sermon, before "Preacher" actually begins (not a complimentary song: "We was muthafucking paying your mortgage/while we was living in the projects, you know we couldn't afford it," goes one particularly vitriolic line) into the hopeful and affirming "It's Alright" (produced by Kanye West). It's the kind of thing that requires a commitment from the listener, but Saigon and the people around him are talented enough to pull it off, even to make it enjoyable, which makes The Greatest Story Never Told one definitely worth hearing. ~ Marisa Brown
Artist Overview
Analogous to mixtape kingpins 50 Cent and Papoose, Saigon rose to prominence within hip-hop's top ranks, particularly in New York, just on unofficial singles and mixtapes alone. Politically conscious and street-smart, Saigon (aka Brian Carenard) developed his deft rhyming skills during his seven-year stint in prison, where he also earned the nickname "the Yardfather." Only a teenager, he spent much of his time delving into politics and black history, educating himself on topics like the Vietnam War and Toussaint L'Ouverture, but he identified primarily with the history and background of Malcolm X. Still, he's known most for his role in the HBO hit series "Entourage". ~ Cyril Cordor
Professional Reviews
Spin (p.73) - "GREATEST STORY pounds and sways with teary defiance, testifying for lives proscribed by broken homes, petty crime, and prison."
Disc 1
1 Station Identification (Intro) - (featuring Fatman Scoop)
2 Invitation, The - (featuring Q-Tip)
3 Come On Baby - (featuring Jay-Z/Swizz Beatz)
4 War
5 Bring Me Down, Pt. 2
6 Enemies
7 Friends
8 Greatest Story Never Told, The
9 Clap
10 Preacher - (featuring Lee Fields/The Expressions)
11 It's Alright - (featuring Marsha Ambrosius)
12 Believe It
13 Give It To Me - (featuring Raheem DeVaughn)
14 What the Lovers Do - (featuring Devin the Dude)
15 Better Way - (featuring Layzie Bone)
16 Oh Yeah (Our Babies)
17 And the Winner Is...
18 Too Long - (featuring Black Thought)
Product Attributes
Artist Saigon
Label Suburban Noize
Music Format Compact Disc

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