Saigon - The Greatest Story Never Told 2: Bread and Circuses

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Saigon seems to sound most comfortable when he's pointing out the music industry's shortcomings or telling stories of life on the block.

Though he has ten mixtapes under his belt already, Brooklyn emcee Saigon had only released one full-length official album…until now. The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2: Bread and Circuses marks Sai-giddy’s second LP since he began recording music after he was released from prison in 2000.

Thanks to far fewer label politics involved in Chapter 2’s release, the wait time was shorter and the quality remains consistent with what Saigon’s fans have grown to expect from him. Just Blaze holds executive producer status on the album with additional production from DJ Corbett and Shuko, though the beats on the album are of secondary importance, as Saigon’s introspective raps demand the listener’s attention. There is a consistency and sense of continuation from Greatest Story’s first installment, as Saigon gives a glimpse into his maturity as a man and a father while sharing lessons learned from street life and pointing out society’s insufficiencies.
Though he touches on some family dynamics (his daughter Rayne is actually the voice behind an interlude of sorts on the album) and waxes poetic about love (or in his case, the weird middle ground he dubs “relafriendships”), Saigon seems to sound most comfortable when he’s pointing out the music industry’s shortcomings or telling stories of life on the block. The standout “Rap Vs. Real” examines the smoke and mirrors of modern day Rap, as Saigon points out, “there’s a very big difference between Rap and what’s real/ when those worlds collide that’s when rappers get killed/ trappers they go to jail, die without leaving a will/ there’s a very big difference between Rap and what’s real.” “Yeah Yeah” conjures up flashbacks of a far more aggressive and volatile Saigon of mixtapes from years ago, with a head-nodder of a beat and a more rapidly paced flow, complete with threats to get someone admitted to a hospital bed or to show them what being held at knifepoint feels like. On it’s own the track is great, though in the grander scheme of the content on Bread and Circuses, the threatening bars seem contradictory to the heartfelt and optimistic tone of much of the rest of the album.
Growth, both as a musician free of stifling label ties, and as a man with a gritty past, is certainly the prevalent theme on The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2: Bread and Circuses. Though the raps may not be as street-centric as they used to be, Saigon’s bars are no less real, and in true Saigiddy fashion he leaves his audience with some of his own lessons that he has learned in life, and rather than sounding preachy, he succeeds in leaving the impression that he simply wants other people to listen, understand, and take notes in hopes that children like his daughter won’t have to grow up in such a volatile environment (word to “Crazy World”). “Stocking Cap” Sai may be no more, but Saigon proves that he still hasn’t lost his touch on the mic.

Thanks to far fewer label politics involved in Chapter 2’s release, the wait time was shorter and the quality remains consistent with what Saigon’s fans have grown to expect from him. Just Blaze holds executive producer status on the album with additional production from DJ Corbett and Shuko - though the beats on the album are of secondary importance, as Saigon’s introspective raps demand the listener’s attention. There is a consistency and sense of continuation from Greatest Story’s first installment, as Saigon gives a glimpse into his maturity as a man and a father while sharing lessons learned from street life and pointing out society’s insufficiencies.

Though he touches on some family dynamics (his daughter Rayne is actually the voice behind an interlude of sorts on the album) and waxes poetic about love (or in his case, the weird middle ground he dubs “relafriendships”), Saigon seems to sound most comfortable when he’s pointing out the music industry’s shortcomings or telling stories of life on the block. The standout “Rap Vs. Real” examines the smoke and mirrors of modern day Rap, as Saigon points out, “there’s a very big difference between Rap and what’s real/ when those worlds collide that’s when rappers get killed/ trappers they go to jail, die without leaving a will/ there’s a very big difference between Rap and what’s real.” “Yeah Yeah” conjures up flashbacks of a far more aggressive and volatile Saigon of mixtapes from years ago, with a head-nodder of a beat and a more rapidly paced flow, complete with threats to get someone admitted to a hospital bed or to show them what being held at knifepoint feels like. On it’s own the track is great, though in the grander scheme of the content on Bread and Circuses, the threatening bars seem contradictory to the heartfelt and optimistic tone of much of the rest of the album.

Growth - both as a musician free of stifling label ties and as a man with a gritty past - is certainly the prevalent theme on The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2: Bread and Circuses. Though the raps may not be as street-centric as they used to be, Saigon’s bars are no less real. In true Sai-giddy fashion, he leaves his audience with some of his own lessons that he has learned in life. Rather than sounding preachy, he succeeds in leaving the impression that he simply wants other people to listen, understand, and take notes in hopes that children like his daughter won’t have to grow up in such a volatile environment (word to "Crazy World"). “Stocking Cap” Sai may be no more, but Saigon proves that he still hasn’t lost his touch on the mic.

53 Comments

  • tinyzuma

    Great album from The Great Saigon

  • SS87

    I've never listened to Saigon much, but I picked this up after hearing "The Game Changer" and i love what I heard. Real nice solid album. Out of 10, I'd give it an 8. Some of the beats could be better, but from a content/lyrics perspective, it's amazing. He's just spitting real-life stuff, but what I like about it, is that he's not preachy or trying to beat you over the head with it.

  • sebinta1@hotmail.com

    im like you saigon

  • AtomiCo

    Nothing but straight fire. A teacher backed up by dope music.

  • beta

    I dont know what happened to most peoples musical ear, but this album is really good. I even like it more than the first one (TGSNT). Saigon delivers real lines with crazy flows and concious content over good beats. Almost every song is worth listening and not skippable. I really think this masterpiece will be apprecieated in many years, but I really cant understand what happen to most punks in this site dismissing very good albums (like this one and the one from Preemo & Freddie Foxxx, the Kolexxxion). Real hip hop, stand up. Peace from Argentina. PS: Sai keep doing your thing, real hip hop music for real hip hop heads.

  • Anonymous

    Solid album. Totally agree with the rating. It's not as good as the first installment, but it has good lyrics and a few bangin beats. Unfortunately it has a few filler tracks too, and i don't see the point in puttin songs twice on the album (i.e. "Blown Away" and "Rap vs Real"). But way better than 80 % of the other bullshit, that is called rap music.

  • Anonymous

    good lyrics a bit similar and simple tho.

  • Anonymous

    Backshots on Rayne!!! Laughably bad album from one of the corniest MCs in the game... Loudmouthed Rockland County emo cornball... He should collaborate with Cage and we can cry all the way home. Langston Hughes and Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder all died in vain of retards like Brian represent black "culture" 2012...

  • Chr!s

    Y'all must be brainwashed from that weak shit that's out! This right here IS the album of the year! It's not just an album it's definitly more than that.The album don't sell well, but Saigon won't change his content just to become successful and that's why u gotta respect him even if u don't like his music! Tha album is great! I don't know what y'all hearin?! 5/5

  • Anonymous

    What Saigon needs is Chamillionaire. No kiddin'. After "You Gon Learn" I was suprised that "Keep Pushin" only features Cham on the hook and doesn't have a verse on it. Saigon doesn't belong to the world of the record industry, he could make good money independent, and when it comes to that, Chamillionaire is one of the most promising partner. Just look at his Twitter, ~870k follower without a major deal. Last yeah he had around ~660-670k. So +100k follower in one of his most silent era, when he only dropped an (otherwise excellent) EP and a few freestyles ... And those fans are loyal, trust me. (For comparsion, Tech 9ne has around ~230k.) And this a major cornerstone towards being self-sufficient and successfull on your own. My point is that artist like them needs to stick together. Watching the biggest indendent labels work ethic (like Rhymayers or ShowOff) that's clear how profitable this model by keeping the costs relatively low. When it comes to Saigon, he is undeniably a dope MC but without Just Blaze beats he may not interesting enough on the long run. Being good at music and business is two separate things, and I feel he doesn't belong to both category ... So good luck for Saigon, but he needs to step his game up.

  • Pegasus Flow

    Not exactly going to break new ground with this comment but...good album but definitely didn't enjoy it as much as the first one.

  • trouble

    This album was super tough ....

  • Wt_44

    Album sounds to much like his first album. He says the same preachy/gangsta stuff as on his first album. Its like an updated version. Also Saigon is not enteetaining. Im getting bored by his depressing lyrics.

    • Anonymous

      Have you ever seen Saigon live? He's like anti-entertainment, anti-charisma, anti- everything you might want to keep living. Album rating Zero Point Motherfucking Zero. Time to a GED & a job, Brian, your fake-ass career in "show biz" is over.

  • Daman

    First album was a classic, this album is good. I would have been happy with 3 blaze (lord knows or compton beats lol) and I few features (the man has rap with legends already). At this point in his career I feel he gotta step it up a notch other then calling out ross, 2chainz and talking old p beef. At 4k sold, I have no idea where he goes with GSNT3 back to Warning Shot days

  • blkns schallah

    The G.S.N.T volumes are one of the most culturally relevant rap albums in the past 2 years. To say that it's simply just better than what is out right now would be dismissive of all the positivity, "realness", and straight dope shit that make up the content of this album. Its not just better than what is out right now, it is a good album by any standard holding to its own. Big ups Saigon

  • AON_HipHop

    Wow. Ridiculous. This should have been AT LEAST A 4/5

  • Anonymous

    Ja Rule gives this album 1/2 star. Nuff said.

  • bizzalls

    How could you not compare it to his first album? It's technically the second part of the first album. It's called "The Greatest Story Never Told 2"...Just to let everyone know. This album is not even close to as good as the first one. And Im pretty sure it's because Just Blaze produced the whole thing. The beats on his debut were fuckin phenomenal for the most part. On the new album, a lot of average ass shit. This album is still good, but doesn't TOUCH the first. I was definitely dissapointed.

  • Anonymous

    Ill have to check this shot out.

  • anon

    Dont care if it sounds too much like the first one. It's better than any shit out there !!!!

  • Anonymous

    Album has outdated 2004-2006 era production and sounds almost identical to his first album and old mixtapes...He also doesnt have anything to rap about, he says the same preachy/gangsta stuff on every song of every project he does...

    • aTom

      I prefer this beats than the ones from Nas album

    • Anonymous

      Beats arent wack, they just sound old....Relafriendship for example sounds like something 50 Cent would rap over in 2004. Modern style beats dont mean techno beats....Nas just dropped an album that wasnt techno but had current sounding beats...A lot of underground artists with no budget do as well. Saigon just seems to be stuck in his era, he needs to evolve.

    • Anonymous

      Curious what the hell does outdated production means. Its no way production could be outdated. Either the beat is wack or its not. And if you mean updated beats everything i hear on the radio sound like some teckno gay shit or some cronk bouncy bull shit. So im curious online nerd nigga how does a beat become outdated.

  • SaZ

    Album is decent but sounded to much like the first one. Beats could have been better and Saigon voice and flow are somtimes boring. Saigon doesnt break new ground here. 3,5 star is fair

  • Derelict Of Dialect

    I think it's an honest review/rating. Let's not get carried away in Saigon's own private hype-machine.

  • Anonymous

    People need to stop comparing it with his first album The album is dope he speaking on real shit and for a small underground release it's dope and should be supported

  • Under

    3 1/2 stars?? Are you kidding me??? This is AT LEAST 4 stars.

  • Under

    3 1/2 stars? Are you kidding me??? This is AT LEAST 4 stars.