Saigon – Belly of the Beast: The Scram Jones Files

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Saigon is literally in the belly of the music industry’s beast. Thank god for mixtapes though. Dropping a mixtape is like hopping on an airplane while getting that major label to put your album out is like a horse and buggy. In a sense they both do the same thing…get your music heard…eventually, and allow an artist to tour (where the $ is these days.) If there is one artist that could tour strictly off mixtape music it’s Saigon. Imagine if Saigon wasn’t signed at all, got some investors, pressed up 30K albums, served the mom and pops and sold them at shows. Think it’s not possible for an NYC MC…Think again. Who knows how it would have turned out but one thing is certain he would have had some new music out right now and would be putting in that work like he obviously wants too right now.

Scram Jones is a beast in his own right. The timing on this one was perfect. People want to hear Saigon right now, old or new music and they def want to hear Saigon on Scram Jones production. “Saigon Theme” is my joint. I remember playing this on the Rapmullet Trap House IPod before anyone had the full version. His camp hitting up Dimez like “where did you get that?” They even thought we got it from Scram but truth be told I found it on some obscure French blog that I stumbled upon one night. Who knows how they got it but it was most def a rare jewel. Statik Selecktah cutting this shit up type lovely too. To say “The Saga” is classic is an understatement. “I’m a lyrical, living, legend”…damn right and he doesn’t even have an album out. The thing about Saigon is the balance in the music and the ability to project a message in a way that cats want to hear it. Take “Desperado”, “The Color Purple” or “In Jail”. Introspective, well versed rhymes that let cats know the real…nothing like that out right now and these songs are even dated. It’s crazy that the label doesn’t see the potential in that. You can still rock “True Story” today for cats that never heard it and they will be amped up off the word play alone in that first verse. “Jake” is that mixtape music, this is how you flip a “known” beat and make it your own…MCs take notes. If you really really wanna get deep with it you got “Nobody Cares”. The range of content from the beginning of the CD to the end is phenomenal, shit is 3D in a one dimensional hip hop world and the music isn’t even brand spanking new.

My thing with the whole Saigon/Atlantic release the album thing is this. Saigon is not an artist that needs a specific single to sell music. He’s not fucking Chingy who needs to slave in the studio for a hit radio song which will translate into 150,000 albums sold. In 2007 these labels need to step outside the box, remove head from ass and break that old business model (radio/tv=$). Just put the album out and let Saigon work that shit front to back and it will sell. Fuck the first, second and sixth week sales, fuck massive traditional promo budgets, its about letting the consumer find the music and relating to it. Let that consumer connect to the music, spread that word of mouth and decide what song(s) they are fucking with. Once that happens the label has to be ready to pull the trigger to get the video(s) done asap, get those promo appearances on Jimmy Kimmel, Leno ect all while filming the behind the scenes and putting those up on Youtube or Onsmash every week and let the Saigon internet virus/presence spread “while” the album is already in stores. The Greatest Story Never Told has the potential to sell over a whole year, not just the first month of being released. You can tell Saigon is ready to put in the work so cats need to get their shit together and set some fucking trends already!