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Brooklyn rapper Saigon just released his debut LP, The Greatest Story Never Told, but it has been a record in the making since 2006. After getting signed to Atlantic Records, Saigon became disillusioned with the major label’s process and restrictions (as chronicled in his “Trans-Atlantic Slave Deal”).
After years of wrangling, he was finally able to jump ship to indie Suburban Noize Records, bringing his Just Blaze produced tracks in tow. The pantheon of Greatest Story‘s guest contributors provides an eye-opening assessment of Saigon’s talent and the respect he commands in the New York hip-hop scene, with Q-Tip, Jay-Z, Swizz Beatz, Devin the Dude, Layzie Bone, Faith Evans, and Kanye West all lending a hand to the proceedings.
There can be no denying that the beat behind “Get Busy” (a bonus, non-album track) is a gimmick but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t work all the same. Anyone of a certain age is bound to have that Super Mario Brothers theme indelibly impressed into their hippocampus, and while we’ve heard chiptune hip-hop from artists like MegaRan in the past, it’s almost shocking that we’ve never heard someone take on this Goomba-popping beat.
The silliness of the backing track provides a smirking counterpoint to Saigon’s typically hard-edged rhymes and allows for some playful turns of phrase, as when he raps about a friend who “used to take mushrooms to make him feel bigger” (nudge nudge). At the center of the track is the simple, titular, party-ready hook, which sounds like something Digital Underground might have ushered out to get a crowd moving. All in all, it’s a great way to kick off a Friday night and a perfect introduction to a talent who will be new to most even if he’s been doing his thing for quite a few years.