For a long time we’ve known of Saigon’s excellent lyrical prowess from his mixtapes and he justifies his renown on his studio debut off Suburban Noize, The Greatest Story Never Told.
Mostly produced by Just Blaze, Saigon teams up with heavy hitters like Kanye West, who produced “It’s Alright,” Q-Tip, Bun B, Faith Evans, Jay-Z, and Black Thought. The 80-minute effort is already being touted by some as the album of the year.
Perhaps a bit long by some measures, Greatest Story is an impressive collection of polished tracks: The production is monumental, the lyrical content and delivery, superb. But it meanders a little. As stated, the album is long by most standards and while most of the tracks are good, some remain unremarkable, sounding a lot like other cuts off the album. A CD of this length should have contained more sonic variety. But I digress…
“And The Winner Is” featuring Bun B was unique because it featured a live version of the beat from an earlier track, “Enemies.” I don’t have a problem with self-reference, although I thought it was a little strange since it was within the album. The instrumental at the end of the song was a nice change of pace though.
Particularly memorable tracks include the aforementioned ”Enemies,” the title track, “Believe It,” Give It To Me,” and “Preacher,” but “Too Long” featuring Black Thought was my favorite, particularly because it was an intelligent way to end the album as a whole.
Even though there were a few points at which this album dragged for me, (see back to back six-minute songs), there is no doubt that this is not only a strong debut for Saigon, but a strong album that indicates he’ll be a force in hip-hop for years to come.