Saigon has often been an outspoken emcee. Known just as much for his headline grabbing statements as he is for the music, the Brooklyn native is back on the scene after releasing All In A Day’s Work, a collaborative album with producer Statik Selektah.

In a forthcoming interview with BET.com, Saigon reflected on his time spent on a major label, rappers glorifying negative lifestyles, and his biggest industry regret.

Much has been written about Saigon’s relationship with his former recording house, Atlantic Records. One of the breaking points for Saigon came when a label executive suggested a collaboration with one of the label’s R&B acts.  

“They wanted me to do a record with Pretty Ricky,” he says. “They were serious. One of the execs told me, ‘Saigon, it would be a good thing if you went in with Pretty Ricky. You guys could do something great.’ Saigon and Pretty Ricky? That doesn’t even make sense.”

Saigon also took some time out to address the glorification of violence and hustling in the industry.

“It’s stupid,” he said. “Real gangsters don’t do that. Tough guys don’t want you to know they’re tough. Everybody’s talking about street cred. Number one, when you’re out in the streets, you’re not thinking about street cred. It’s not something you sit around and glorify.

“When gang members go to jail, they get caught up in the RICO laws [and they’re surprised]. What’d you think? You’re running around with gang tattoos and a red bandana on your body. With organized crime, if they got pulled over, [they’d tell the police] ‘We’re not in the mob, what are you talking about?’ They didn’t walk around with signs that said ‘Gambino Family.’”

With a new recording home in Amalgam Digital, Saigon says he has more creative control than he did on a major label. However, when looking back on his career, he revealed one regret.

“I regret not reading my contract,” he says. “Not to take anything away from my attorney, because my attorney is the illest. I think if I could’ve asked him more questions and been more inquisitive instead of worrying about my financials—because I was dead poor when I signed my deal—I wish I would’ve studied it more and understood the guarantees that you can put in your contract.

“If I would’ve had certain commitments, they wouldn’t have been able to do me like they did me.”

In hopes that others will learn from his crucial mistake, he offers one piece of advice.

“Read your mutha fuckin contract. If you can, get a ‘play or pay.’ If you can get a play or pay, if they don’t put you out, they’ve got to pay you. That’s one of the industry inside tricks.”