Saigon — The Greatest Story Never Told Part II: Bread and Circuses

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Only a few years after being released from a contract with Atlantic Records that held him in a state of creative imprisonment, New York rapper Saigon has released his sophomore album, The Greatest Story Never Told Chapter 2: Bread and Circuses. In an apparent effort to blitz the hip-hop world, or perhaps just make up for lost time, the insightful emcee has impetuously released a polished follow-up album that has made all past debacles seem that much more warranted.

Like the gladiator games in the era of deteriorating Rome, Saigon utilizes the analogy of bread and circuses throughout the album to embody the blinding effects that society experiences when handed the distractions to deter ones mind from reality. The track “Plant the Seed (What U Paid For)” exemplifies how, in Saigon’s eyes, the hip-hop community has stopped reflecting reality and has ultimately diverged from its roots and burrowed itself in a catechism of insatiable personal indulgence.

With solid instrumentation ranging from the uplifting “Let Me Run” to the gritty “Blow Away Pt. 2,” Saigon is evidently on a quest to link hard-hitting beats usually reserved for more mainstream artists with his distinguishable, righteous lyricism. Naturally inclined to speak his mind, Saigon might put off a large constituency by vocalizing his apparent opposition to homosexuality in the track “Our Babies 2 (Crazy World).” His quick yet robust proclamation comes as a surprise due to his otherwise progressive viewpoints. When analyzed holistically, however, the album holds other merits that make it worth a listen.

Saigon is part of a new wave of rappers who understand that in our modern era, an artist does not need to be tied to a major company to be successful. In such an era, there will undoubtedly be many who try; Saigon just seems to have more to say, and he says it well.

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