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Who is Saigon?

As revealed in a poll I’m currently running on my own site, Saigon is the third most popular mixtape rapper behind Papoose and Redman. Which is no small feat once you consider that Redman once put out albums like Whut? Thee Album, Dare Iz a Darkside, and Muddy Waters. You can still be a ’80s baby if you like Redman, right? He is, after all, rapping on mixtapes.

Speaking of which, our good friend Sickamore happens to be “A&R-ing” Saigon’s album at Atlantic Records, which I took to mean that he’s the black guy they keep around when they need someone to talk some “brother talk” to Sai-giddy. But I could be wrong about that. Maybe Sickamore will fill us in on what he actually does as part of his 30 days (in a row!) of blogging.

Admittedly, I haven’t been as diligent about checking out some of these upcoming rappers as I could be. I make enough these days that I’ve been able to cut down my hours at the BGM from five days a week to three days a week, so it’s not like I don’t have the time. But so far I’ve mostly used this as an opportunity to listen to more backpacker rap and other cracka-ish bullshit.

That DJ Shadow hyphy album has grown on me quite a bit.

So I decided to visit Saigon’s MySpace profile and find out what’s good with the Yardfather. No homo Juelz Santana, but the first thing I noticed is that they’ve got that picture of him where it looks like he’s balls deep in another guy as his main image. I’ve mentioned this before, but Sickamore should see about having that removed. I don’t know if that’s part of his duties as an A&R.

Also, I notice his profile has undergone somewhat of a redesign in anticipation of his forthcoming debut album, Greatest Story Never Told (“coming soon,” it says). I wouldn’t put it on the level of Nelly Furtado’s MySpace profile, which I visit every night before I go to bed, but I’ve certainly seen worse. I might have to talk to whoever did it about jazzing up my own profile.

Most importantly, there’s music, including a new joint from Greatest Story called “Pain in My Life,” which Sickamore posted here yesterday, as well as some other shit he’s done on various mixtapes. Are any of these produced by Just Blaze? I’m assuming not, but if they are, they’re from the Just Blaze budget line, even more so than his work on T.I.’s King.

Having Trey Songz on the chorus didn’t strike me as particularly appropriate for a so-called street single, but otherwise “Pain in My Life” is a solid piece of work. Sai-giddy doesn’t possess the world’s most compelling delivery, but he’s an uncommonly thoughtful lyricist and you get the idea that the guy’s been through some shit compared to some of these other so-called thug rappers.

Neither “Pain in My Life” nor any of the other songs streaming on his MySpace are really that good, but Saigon’s definitely got potential. An album of him rocking over Just Blaze beats (good ones) could be nails. And lord knows hip-hop today could use something.

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