Critical Beatdown: Saigon Talks Album Ratings...Including His Own

The Yardfather has been giving us digital "side-eye" since we gave his album a four-rating back in February. So we gave him a platform to explain why "The Greatest Story Never Told" should be considered a classic.

“Gang of nerds on the Internet slandering your name / Behind that screen name / They’re lame and their life is pretty plain / M&M’s with no nuts won’t show up face to face / Straight bitchmade…” –Big Boi, “Hollywood Divorce” by Outkast feat. Snoop Dogg & Lil Wayne.

Rappers and journalists can be a cocky bunch—which makes it all the more awkward when the two groups clash. But, in addition to pushing the pen for a living, they also share a common perception about a majority of the people who post spiteful comments on various websites and Internet forums. We see the people who hold petty arguments with each other (usually settled when one party threatens the other with physical violence or is called a “fag”), and immediately think of people in their late twenties who still live with their parents and upload their venomous comments over a DSL connection. But much like cyber shrapnel, there are some sharp bits of truth deeply embedded in even the most asinine comments. Fans, listeners and readers do matter, and you needn’t look any further than the shuttered offices of the magazines and websites that stopped paying attention to what the fans wanted and subsequently folded.

February 2011, provided one of those moments when an artist and their core fans seemed to agree that—as the commenter “Anon” pointed out, “HHDX blew it.” Saigon released his long-awaited The Greatest Story Never Told album, and we gave it a rating of four. The most diplomatic response to Anon would be that he or she is entitled to their opinion and should keep it moving. In the months since Sai’s album dropped, The Yardfather has made no secret of the fact that he was less than thrilled with our rating. This past weekend, we were fortunate enough to bump into Saigon at the A3C Festival, and the encounter proved that you really can’t put too much stock into anything you see or read on the Internet.

Industry Artists Versus In The Streets Artists

“I got the whole block bumpin’ / You ain’t gotta like it ‘cause the hood gone love it / Watch a young nigga show his ass out in public…” —Jay Rock, “Hood Gone Love It.”

“You used to be a skinny nigga, but you’re on swole now…I know you’re trying to get some of this chicken.” These are the words from two of the rather brolic cooks that had a barbeque booth adjacent to one of A3C’s performance stages. The aforementioned cooks have been stone-faced all day, but they’re brimming over with excitement when Saigon exits the stage and comes through for a plate.

“Nigga, we was listening to you when you was in jail,” one of the cooks remarks, before showcasing his New Jersey hat to prove his allegiance. “You already know what it is. And we don’t just cook. Can I slide you a CD?”

Of course. If nothing else, Saigon is a man of the people—literally. Just because he’s not online anonymously calling you a “retard,” doesn’t mean he isn’t right there with you on the site.

I also have the 3rd highest rated album of the year by the fans over at @HipHopDX but I get no love. Kinda used to it now.. Shoutout to KRIT34 minutes ago via Twitter for Android Favorite Retweet Reply

All Albums Are Not Created Equal

“Dig it / Fuck a Rap critic / They talk about it while I live it / If Red got the blunt I’m the second one to hit it…” –Method Man, “How High” by Method Man & Redman.

One of the biggest gripes we get is how some artists generally viewed as subpar get equal or better album ratings than others. During the same time span that Saigon dropped The Greatest Story Never Told, we gave an equal four-rating to the relatively unknown project Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by KB Imean and Styliztik Jones (recording under the moniker Martin & Malcolm). Meanwhile, we gave Joell Ortiz a four-and-a-half rating for Free Agent. An unsatisfied reader would say that we obviously think Joell is bar for bar better than Saigon who is head and shoulders above KB Imean and Styliztik Jones. But the rating system doesn’t say that at all, and to infer that based on the number of X’s we assign to an album would be a huge mistake. Yet, I know that’s what often happens, because I sat in a cold, raggedy trailer while Saigon told me just that.

“I’ve been a student of Hip Hop my whole life, so when I see the albums that got higher ratings than mine I go listen to them before I go ballistic,” Saigon explained. “I’m thinking, ‘What made this shit a four-and-a-half and they only gave me a four when that shit is not as hot as mine?’ The production on my shit is immaculate. If you know what went into making my album…Just Blaze had a nine-piece orchestra and church choirs in the studio!”

On one level, I can understand exactly where he’s coming from. But we don’t listen to albums in a vacuum, so why would we rate them in one? Throughout the course of several independent projects, KB Imean and Styliztik Jones showed an ability to consistently put out quality music. That ability translated into a quality album, which was by-and-large made on a shoestring budget. Conversely, I stand by our writer Edwin Ortiz and the rest of the staff’s opinion that Saigon’s amazing album would have been a classic if it had have been released five years ago. It’s a testament to Sai and Just Blaze’s skills that an album half a decade old held up so well. The four-rating doesn’t mean Saigon would lose if he had to face off against Malcolm and Martin in a WWE-style rhyme battle. It doesn’t mean he wouldn’t either, and quite frankly we don’t care about that during the review process.

Just like many of our readers, we’re students of this shit too. At the most basic level, we’re looking for quality, consistency and technical innovation in both the rhymes and production on a superior album. In terms of ratings, some artists can do more with less. If you’re on a major label with a large budget and one of Hip Hop’s best producers on your side, the definition of technical innovation may involve bringing in a nine-piece orchestra and a choir. If you’re independent and on a smaller budget, it may hypothetically involve bringing in some guys to drum on a few buckets turned upside down.

The Album And The Narrative

“I can’t believe I fucked up and made a half-assed album / My excuse is my pops just died / And I ain’t wanna make music my pops just died / My fans stuck with me my shit still went gold / I got a habit just to thrive / Gettin’ head then I roll…” Noreaga, “Invicible” by Capone-N-Noreaga.

I’d like to say albums are viewed totally objectively, but that’s a lie. It’s really a shame that nowadays even D-list rappers feel the need to validate themselves by mentioning their sales figures, because to focus only on sales or a hit single is to reduce an album to its least valuable element. Any decent album has a memorable narrative to go along with it. I’m a firm believer that the reason some people believe Jay-Z’s The Blueprint is a classic is because of the mythology associated with it. Obviously the album can stand alone on its own merits. But how often to you hear Jay and other people mention the 9/11 release date, the emerging talents of Kanye West and Just Blaze and Jay-Z growing his trademark “Bluefro” while dumbing out to instrumentals for three consecutive weeks. And that doesn’t even mention the anticipation created when Jay aired out Mobb Deep’s Prodigy on that Summer Jam screen. I’m writing all of this, and I don’t even agree that The Blueprint is a classic (I prefer The Black Album). But all of that is to say there is an inescapable narrative associated with The Blueprint, and it’s nearly impossible to separate the narrative from the music itself. A quality album should make you incorporate that narrative.

Naturally, this comes up during the talk with Saigon. He and Just Blaze caught lightening in a bottle with The Greatest Story Never Told. Unfortunately, a nasty spat with Atlantic Records caused that bottle to get tossed out in the ocean, and it took five years to resurface. That, and the sonic approach to the album are part of the narrative. The narrative was that Greatest Story was a return to Hip Hop’s “Golden Era” in terms of rhymes and production. Does a lesser rating mean we’re penalizing him for label politics or does it mean we’ve contradicted ourselves and divorced an incredible body of work from the narrative associated with it?

“We put a lot of work into this shit, and we already got fucked by Atlantic,” Saigon explained. “So I felt slighted about that off top. Then when I finally put it out—HipHopDX is one of my favorite sites—I see the review that I had been waiting for, and it’s only a four? I was like, ‘Four out of five? Fuck that!’”

The Greatest Stories Ever Told

“Playa hate that all carries weight that we don’t need / We slim with disabilities and thick with possibilities / ‘Cause then you can move with agility / Navigating with good visibility / We put these tunes out in record shop facilities / And strive to get this constant money activity…” –Q-Tip, “Get A Hold” by A Tribe Called Quest.

The longer I talked with Saigon, the more the talk turned to him extricating himself and his art from what he described as a corporate prison and less about our review. After all, it’s not as if we gave his album a three.

“Like you said—a four rating is not bad,” Saigon added. “The average rapper would have been doing back flips after getting a four, but I hold myself to a standard of perfection. For me to put out something that I did five years ago and it still stands the test of time, that right there is a testament that I was on the right path.”

Didn’t we pretty much say that verbatim? No’s the thing—he was practically gushing over his album, and it’s nine months old. I really appreciated that. We’re in an A.D.D. climate right now. The only reason I have enough time to listen to all the mixtapes and albums currently being released by artists that resonate with the DX readers is because I literally get paid to do so. That’s why, as an editor, I can count on a new video (and the traffic it brings) from someone under the Maybach Music umbrella every week. Do you know how many projects Curren$y can do in nine months? I’m not advocating the high-quantity approach over the slow burn, but some artists have clearly drawn a line in the sand. Saigon is one of them, and I can’t knock the hustle.

Business That Becomes Personal

“See how me and my peeps fit / We jigsaw / Sometimes I play big saw to cut the deals / And we keepin’ them bills paid and meals in the mouth of many / A noble job if any…” –Posdnuous “Am I Worth You” by De La Soul.

“At [some] point, it became personal,” Saigon said in reference to his soured label relationship. “If you say you don’t want to put it out, then why can’t I take it elsewhere? What is this? Does somebody personally not like me? That’s bad business, because nobody’s making any money if y’all sit on it. It took me years to get those masters back, and then I took it to another label and put it out. This took years. We’re almost at 40,000 independent—which in this day and age is great.”

At no point in the nine months since our review was released, did this thing ever become personal. As the pair of Jersey-bred cooks, pointed out, Sai is no stranger to the weight bench. If the situation turned physical, I would have gotten duffed out. But he kept it professional, and so did we. Any shit talking was purely in a joking manner. And for our part, we’ve continued to post new tracks and videos from Saigon—most of which were from The Greatest Story Never Told.

Our staff—including our tireless music editor and a dedicated group of writers—works incredibly hard to improve upon a brand that’s been built over the course of 10-plus years. Like you, we’re fans and students of Hip Hop culture first and foremost. For the better part of the last few years, various readers and the occasional artist (Saigon) has flat-out called us out in regards to our review and rating process. That’s cool by us. Because the bottom line is, right now, any album released is available on a torrent or file-sharing program. You could just as easily go illegally download it, come to an opinion on it, and then still decide if you want to support the artist with your money. But, the fact that you choose to include HipHopDX in a digital version of the same arguments about albums taking place in barbershops, lunchrooms and neighborhoods all across the world isn’t something we take lightly. Truthfully we never planned on talking with Saigon about his album rating anymore. But when you still love this music and culture despite all of the inherent bullshit and politics involved, sometimes the conversation gets long-winded. I think that speaks volume about how we, you as readers and artists like Saigon feel about Hip Hop.

Saigon is an emcee, activist and occasional actor. He is the founder of Abandoned Nation, and his album The Greatest Story Never Told is available via Suburban Noize. Follow him on Twitter @TheRealSaigon.

Omar Burgess is a Long Beach, California native who has contributed to various magazines, newspapers and has  been an editor at HipHopDX since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @FourFingerRings.

Purchase Music by Saigon


  • Jeppe B

    I don't get all the fuss and hate. In my book, when you talk about taste, it all comes down to personal opinion. I don't think GSNT is that good an album, in fact I don't even think it would be on my top 10 this year. My #1 would probably be Cunninlynguists 'Oneirology', which I L-O-V-E, but I don't get all upset because HHDX only rated it 3 (even though I do think it's kinda ignorant to net apreciate the masterful lyrics and incredible depth in concept on that record). "If I don't like it I don't like it, that don't mean that I'm hatin'" - Common

  • nahledge

    In the words of jay-z "Do you fools listen to music or do you just skim through it?". Half you cats just dabble in hiphop/rap you really like pop bullsh!t because it's obvious Saigon isn't wack. He's not mainstream but why discredit his ability. I'm not even into Sai's music like that, I can tell by some of the comments posted on hiphopdx that some of you ppl are lames behind a keyboard.

  • Anonymous

    You prefer The Black Album??? gtfoh

  • Malco

    One of the best albums of the year. Blaze is a juggernaut on production and made Saigon, dope..but not crack, all the more listenable. He did a great job on the album. Guess he should enlisted Rhianna for a hip-pop song to get some more shine before dropping the album.

  • Anonymous

    what a douchebag. do yourself and your family a favor, get your GRE and take computer or maybe real estate classes. your fucking 'career' in show business is OVER-- not that it barely ever existed, either. Saigon 1.0 and that just for Just's beats

  • Anonymous

    Saigon is ass but I ** did ** drop my "gangster nut" on his moms a few times-- nice lady. Keep crying Sai, all 12 of your "fans" will support you!

  • Anonymous

    Saigon is hip-hop. The dudes dope without a doubt, and I'd say GSNT is at LEAST a 4.5 but sometimes he complains too much. He needs to vent that anger and frustration into the music.

  • ss

    That Joell album was a piece of dogshit and I'm actually a fan

  • Dukecityspecislist

    Freeway the stim pack 3.5 Saigon 4 Cunninglynguists 3.5 Kanye mbdtf 4.5 ? Nigga please way over rated Joell otrtiz free agent 4.5 overrated Fucked off reviews by dx . first 3 were criminally under rated Last 2 I thought they might have saved your children from a burning building or some shit. Dx is slippin

    • LV

      i bought that joell ortiz album. its okay, i still listen to it. like battle cry alot. wasnt a 4.5, but no hate

    • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      Joell Ortiz deserves a GENEROUS 0.5... Maybe 4.5 is the number of people who actually bought that piece of shit-- .5 for the dude who bought it but returned as 'defective' (in more ways than one).

    • turftalka

      Agree with everything except Kanye, I thought it was one of the best hip hop albums from last year (along with Big Boi & The Roots), I don't care if it has mainstream success, to me everything flowed fluintly and I didn't get bored with it (not even on Runaway).

  • datNIGGAJ

    greatest story neva told! whoa ooh oh oh oh oh oh oh

  • Anonymous

    GSNT was/Is Classic. By far the best album of 2011

  • Anonymous

    Fuck off. Nobody needs an under-achieving 50 Cent rip-off with rapping skills. LMAO.

  • Anonymous

    Don't hype your album up by comparing it to genre-defining classics the next time and it won't be so underwhelming.

  • Anonymous

    He didn't deliver the way he should. End of.

  • Joey Palack

    "But we dont listen to albums in a vacuum, so why would we rate them in one? ...I stand by our writer Edwin Ortiz and the rest of the staffs opinion that Saigons amazing album would have been a classic if it had have been released five years ago." And this is why the writers on this site need to go kill themselves. If an album is only a classic for 5 years then it's not a classic at all retards. Do you guys even take the time to think about what you write? Classic albums are revered not for the background stories that come with them, those get forgotten as time goes on, but timeless music that is in them. Honestly... I expect better from you. BTW you guys fucked up big time, Saigon's album has an 89/100 on Metacritic, on par with Hell Hath No Fury, Sir Luscious Left Foot, OB4CL2, and a higher ranking than The Blueprint by Jay-Z and the College Dropout by Kanye. I'm not saying the album is better than those records or that this album is even a classic record, but judging from the company it keeps, it's a tad better than a fucking 4/5... Hopefully this serves as a wake-up call. This site used to be the best journalist voice in Hip Hop. Now it's just the biggest fail. This site gets a 1/5.

    • Nate

      LOL. You fucked up your WHOLE statement with that Metacritic bullshit. Why do you think College Dropout and The Blueprint are rated lower? Do you even think about the shit you write? They are known all over world and everyone can give them a shitty rating. Nobody would care. People only rate them lower because they were so successful and popular. Plus, projects of superstars are met with much harder critics. The internet hypes every single underground album that drops as the next Ilmatic. There are countless people who rate these albums higher just because they're underground and don't sell. People associate a lack of success with musical quality. This album has a history and became the underground detox. But, like you said, only the music matters. He didn't deliver. Unlike this random underground album, The Blueprint and The College Droput left huge marks in the music history and influenced hundrets of other records. The album would never sound the way it does without the records that came before it. Saigon is trying to get sympathy by saying ''the music industry fucked me up'' and being independet. That doesn't work. There's not a single timeless record on that album. Nobody will be playing it 10 or 15 or even 20 years from now. What kind of bitching is that from Saigon? Does he want to bitch til the people start to believe him? You CAN'T have a classic WITHOUT any kind of impact. He's saying he studied Hip Hop? How does he explain that shitty article? He wants to achieve classic status with an album that ain't even out for a year? LOL. It was one of MANY independet CD's that were released this year and will be forgotten by the next year. Just Blaze made this album and Saigon did nothing that was overly impressive or unique. Time defines classics. This album ain't one of them. It's not our fault that he destroyed his career. Dude reminds me of 9th Wonder with that bitching. BTW, 4 is a GREAT rating.

    • Anonymous

      they gave B.o.B's album a 4/5 too. Guess it must be up there with The Blueprint and College Dropout.

  • CD

    Since when is a 4/5 viewed as a bad review? People are dumb if they get upset over something as trivial as that. To merit a 5, you need to have made an outstanding album, in all aspects.

  • Anonymous

    To get a 5 star you need people who listen to bumble gum rappers acknowledge you and like your shit. And no way in hell everyone is going to agree and like an album. so 4 is standard strong here

    • Anonymous

      Exactly. It NEEDS to be UNIVERSALLY praised. It ain't a classic because a few internet fucks on blog say so. LOL.

  • Anonymous

    True Story is, aside from Bring Me Down (especially that version with Joey), still his best song.

  • Anonymous

    You bitches should excuse for not giving that lyrical masterpiece a proper review. Nothing that was released this comes even close to it from a lyrical and conceptual standpoint.

  • Anonymous

    Vakill - Armor Of God >>> this.

  • Anonymous

    What happened to Sai ripping tracks to shreds on that album? I missed that on there.

  • bigtybeatdowns

    I put this back in my I-pod to check it out again and it's still underwhelming. I agree with the 4 star rating. This album is far from a classic, Hip Hop DX got it right with this one.

  • Anonymous

    still love this album...gonna be lookin for his new shit for a while now

  • Anonymous

    Just Blaze made that album like Exile made Below The Heavens. EVERYONE would sound great over these beats. Saigon rapped better on the tapes.

  • Anonymous

    The only good thing about Free Agent was that Battle Cry had been pressed on a CD. It was garbage, especially compared to his debut.

  • Anonymous

    The only true thing written in this article is that The Black Album is waaay better than The Blueprint. That's it. But the same goes for Stillmatic, which is also incredibly overrated. People associate Nas' comeback with it and not the actual quality of the album. As for Saigon's album, it's good but far from being being a classic. The only one who calls it a classic is Saigon. This whole article is pathetic.

    • CL2K

      Stillmatic overrated?? WTF are you talking about? That album was better than Blueprint and Black Album. Probably Nas' most creative album to date filled with crazy ass concepts. One Mic kills everything Jay or Kanye has done. That song defines hip hop by itself. One mic, Rewind, Your Da Man, 2nd Childhood, My Country,, those are all classics and thats without mentioning ether. Jay-Z's nice but you cant deny Nas' prowess, lyricism, creativity, and imagery on Stillmatic. Its an undeniable classic

    • Anonymous

      I prefer my own opinion.

    • anon

      If you knew anything about hip hop you would know, in production circles and in underground/independent rap, saigon's album is perhaps the most revered...from a production standpoint, it's almost flawless. it was an amazing album, and most definitely one of the classics.

  • Truth

    Giving Joell Ortiz' Free Agent a 4.5 is f-cking RIDICULOUS. And "It would've been classic if it came out five years ago" is a sh-tty argument. That's two pretty big L's, HHDX.

    • Anonymous

      Exacly. 4.5? REALLY? That has to be the craziest rating I've ever seen, ESPECIALLY for THAT album. I bought Joell's first album, but dude fell the FUCK off after that. Free Agent is terrible, uninspired, generic and corny. I had to force myself to continue after I heard the first tracks. No wonder he's still a free agent. The last hot joint he dropped was Battle Cry.

  • Anonymous

    That's the problem in today's era. 4 Stars are a GREAT rating. What more do you want? That's 8 of 10. An album without any kind of impact can't be a classic. It's hard to accept, but that's the truth. I bought the album the day it came out and it's not like the album is THAT great. I'm glad that he was able to release it finally, but that's it. Many underground albums that have been released in the past few years have been as good or even better. It ain't the best debut. Food & Liquor is far superior on every level. Shit, I'm not sure about it being the best album of the year. Armor Of God, Elmatic, R.E.K.S. or L.A.B.O.R. were also crazy good. I liked the concept tracks on this album, but I missed these crazy lyrical joints from him. Nothing on this album was innovative nor did it influence anyone. He himself is responsible for people being disappointed. How can you call your album a modern day Illmatic before it even dropped? Keep it up and drop a follow-up. I'm sure you can improve.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, that would be great. But sadly, they push albums that already got more attention than they deserve.

    • Anonymous

      hip hop media should be giving a BOOST to albums that deserve it. what are they there for? saigon didn't have a major promotion budget, he dropped on an indie. if magazines, publications, grew a set, and said "THIS IS INCREDIBLE, PPL NEED TO HEAR THIS" they would. they have more sway now then ever. unfortunately their credibility is LOW as ever. bunch of followers on the net. dx has a bunch of geek white kids reviewing soul stirring hip hop. won't work. be about the culture, break the box.

    • Anonymous

      Best comment about the impact thing

  • M.R.

    PS: What kind of argument is "It would have been a classic if it was released 5 years before". lol wat??

    • Anonymous

      Jay could rewrite history due to his status.

    • Anonymous

      It wouldn't be if Jay wasn't Jay. It was great, but not an instant classic like the other albums around that time were. It was over-shadowed by many other mafioso-themed albums. It wouldn't exist without OB4CL or Doe Or Die. There's a reason it wasn't met with so much acclaim around the time it got released. The source gave it 4 and Jay started to bitch, til they gave it 5.

    • Anonymous

      Read that again. Did I deny that? LOL.

    • Anonymous

      ^^ Reasonable Doubt is a classic dumb ass

    • Anonymous

      That's a lame ass excuse. LOL. I liked that album, but come on, Sai. That's the same shit Jay did after Rasonable Doubt dropped and people thought it was good, but nowhere near a classic. Jay started to bitch and called it a classic, til the people followed him.

  • M.R.

    I honestly expected a bad album, especially after his last Mixtape. What the fuck was that, Saigon?? You got high caliber tapes like Warning Shots and other material, yet you got the balls to drop utter bullshit like Warning Shots 2? It had some nice cuts, though. Anyway, his Top 5 this year. The Production, his flows, lyrics, stories...all that make it an incredible dope album. It flows very nicely, it's not overloaded with guests, it has beautiful hooks (no cheesy Chris Brown R&B shit, thank God!) and it's Saigon in a good form. I sort of missed another banger, but still, Top 5 of 2011...possibly a classic, we'll see in a few years.

  • Kang Munir

    Production budget should have nothin to do with how you judge a albums music . Thats like saying we should give Madlib a point higher, because of his no budget and self imposed technological constraints he pust on his music making, than Kanye West who goes platinum and still probably doesn't recoup production costs. What relevancy does production budget have to how the music sounds and the importance of that music culturally? a 4 that cost a mil should be the same music quality as a 4 that cost a zero. If not you must inform us of your budget handicapping. Secondly, evey album should be treated as its on piece of work. A news site can provide support for artists who are consistent and have provoking content by giving them more exposure not boosting critical. We who read reviews are going to listen to and possibly buy something based on that specific piece of work not their career. If we hear a 3 in music quality album that's been rated a 4 we will fill let down. It is not ethical to boost their rating on a current work based on what they've done previously. Both of the actions you've mentioned are diluting your critical credibility. Thanks for sharing some insight into the process your site uses. I think it can be improved to the benefit of artists, listeners and your critical credibility.

  • US

    Sorry, but this article is written horribly. Couldn't finish it. What were you guys smoking when you wrote this?

  • Gsus

    Arguably the best album this year. Way better better than all the overhyped albums put out in the last few months. I copped this and Ortiz's album both on the same day. Saigon's album is better. I'm not sure how Ortiz's album was rated a 4.5 on here. It's good, but has little replay value compared Sai's. Their ratings should be flipped.

  • Rando

    It's all about i Bar!

  • Tn

    Whoever wrote this piece is an idiot. He clearly stated in his piece that magazines have gone by the wayside because they did not listen to the fans. So what does he do? He doesn't listen to the fans and sticks to his guns. So many fans can't be wrong. Time to man up and just star you got it wrong. Your credibility is suspect. Give him the 4.5 he deserves man. Album of the year!

  • Up North

    Saigon put out one of the best albums in recent years with TGSNT. Time will be kind to his album. As for the other bullshit DX loves to overrate, most if not all of it will be forgotten by the start of 2012.

  • dizzle

    Perhaps worthy of a 4.5, but the terrible (and terribly forced) "sex" songs alone keep it from being a 5.

  • Seánieg

    As a big Joell Ortiz fan, I still thought Saigon's album was much better! I can't understand why you would judge an album on studio budgets and take that into consideration, an album should be judged on quality, not circumstance. If thats the case, are you already gonna dock Detox marks because of its huge budget, and the time it has taken to come out? Or will you judge the final product?

    • endof

      that joell album was a piece of shit. that SHADY payola kicked in right about that time. that album wasn't sniffing his debut, and his debut wasn't no 4.5/5. dx is wildly inconsistent with their reviews, and i think it's pretty clear when they have ulterior motives (reviewing beyonce's album after advertising the shit out of weeks on end!?). saigon is right. hip hop media fell the fuck off along with the music itself. nobody respects the craft, bunch of losers stalking twitter updates spreading gossip like hoes.

  • gametime

    Saigon's album was the only one I copped in a long time. It's amazing to me how an album can have the best production (Just Blaze), dope lyrics, songs, topics, anthems, and barely anybody noticed it. he sold as much as Soulja boy's last CD, c'mon man...

  • wu

    Hiphop dx provides good news, but the reviews are always pretty shitty. And this piece sucked. DO any of yall have a college degree or any sense of what makes a good article?

  • TRT

    saigon is absolutely right. he dropped a socially conscious, street smart, hip hop epic, and it fell on deaf ears. publications SHOULD have stepped up and given the album the critical push it deserved. it breaks my heart that an album so powerful dropped to so little impact. he went through hell to get it out, and look how it was received. public enemy, x-clan, poor righteous teachers, would they even make a name if they dropped today? nobody cares about dropping real music anymore. if the beat's hot it's good enough. albums used to tell a story, saigon told a story. majority of albums dropping now are so mechanical. features aren't organic, everybody is trying to remake whatevers hot. the conscious levels among the masses is at an all time low. the music reflects that. saigon did his part, i can only hope time is kind and people eventually come around and give the album it's just due in the future. got to be frustrating for sai. dropping incredible music just isn't enough anymore. very sad.