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Saigon, Clinton Sparks and DJ Kay Slay
The Return of Tha Yardfather

saigonbootlegs.jpgMore often than not, spotlight-seeking rappers shy away from spitting substantial rhymes. Fortunately, that’s not the case with Saigon. Fresh off his recurring role on HBO’s hit series Entourage, Sai-Giddy continues to build anticipation for his oft-delayed debut by teaming with Clinton Sparks and Kay Slay for the food for thought–filled mixtape The Return of Tha Yardfather.

Combining Chuck D’s militancy and Pac’s ghetto charm with 50 Cent’s overt thuggery, Saigon stands as hip-hop’s most well-rounded newcomer. On the remorseful “Desperado,” Sai details his struggles trying to reintegrate into society after a prison bid, over a piano-laden Scram Jones loop, while the inspirational “Nobody Cares”—a collaborative effort with dead prez’s stic.man—is both catchy and revolutionary. Later, the 9th Wonder–produced “Dreams” finds Sai dedicating his bars to all the incarcerated scarfaces, rapping, “Please listen to my words/Know your life is not something you want to throw away.”

The Yardfather takes his lyricism even higher on “Change the Game (Remix),” delivering, “It’s not a promising fate to be part of a race/You know, that they say die at an astonishing rate.” The intelligent hoodlum continues to edutain with “Saigon Sings the Blues,” an off-key tune reminiscent of Big’s “Playa Hater,” where S-to-the-A vows to “help the Black community.” The tape’s only fault comes on the appropriately titled “Rap Bullshit,” where Saigon suddenly finds himself forgetting his mission to inform the masses and thinking with the wrong head.

It’s unfortunate that hip-hop fans have come to expect less from their beloved artists. Songs like “Fight the Power” have long been replaced with contrived dance numbers and get-money anthems. Saigon’s willingness to consistently address inner-city dilemmas makes The Return of Tha Yardfather a worthy investment. Now, if he could just drop that damn album already.
—ROB MARKMAN

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Read the rest of XXL’s Critical Beatdown review section in the XXL’s March 2007 issue (#89)

  • Da Underclassmen

    Never been 1st before since it seems to be a big deal on these forums.

    Anyway that Saigon tape was dope. I feel him and Papoose are the future legends of NY.

    check out

    myspace.com/daunderclassmen
    &
    myspace.com/dfreshsluggerent
    &
    myspace.com/awakenrecords

  • Atl’s own

    y’all mofo’s will give any thing a XL, deservin’ or not!

    obviously college isn’t the only place with severe grade inflation!

  • AirlineGeneral

    Dude above must not know about saigon, foreal this shit should have gotten a XXL, I can’t wait for the album “The Greatest Never Told” will be a classic

  • Yun

    ^^wow, a classic huh? and you’ve actually listened to the album how many times???

  • derfla the hus’la

    saigone’s one of the best so is fabolous, papoose,grahf,joe budden and cassidy

  • http://NONE KILLA BLACK

    Saigone hes real hiphop, and he makes good songs,papoose cant make a hit yet,no flow,Fabs hot,Joe Buddens hot,cassidy bin threw alot of shit since he came home,Grah, hes ok,people are ready for change alot of these niggers say the same shit everybodys saying. Saigone dont worry more troops are coming. (myspace.com/Blu-Black) (myspace.com/ATLAS)

  • seize

    Sai giddy always been fire – the guy above needs to 4get about fabolous. he aint released a fire track for a minute. Sai is the best in NY, bt we’ll see wot pap brings

  • JeRSeY ReSiDeNT

    SAiGON iZ THA FUTURE TRU3 STORY..BUT FA REAL iF.. YA GONNA LEAVE A COMMENT AiNT NO FUCKiN REASON TO LEAVE HATE…YA DON’T LiKE iT…THAT’S COO BUT DONT GO DOGGiN’ SAiGON..PROBABLY AROUND THA TOP 10 OF NASTiEST NiGGAZ ON THA GRIND..REAL TALK

  • chris

    that nicca da truth, glad he gettin recogntion

  • jacquez
  • FRISCOFINEST

    im waitin on that album

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    Michael Jackson – Smooth Criminal ZeeMix

    Tupac, Biggie, Big L – Deadly Combination ZeeMix

    The Game – One Blood ZeeMix

    Nas – Hope ZeeMix

    Prod. By Zee…Hottest Beats Comin from the UK, and from a 16 year old!
    feel free 2 add the tracks to your profiles.

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  • YOUKNOWWHATITIS

    saigon is already one of my favorite rappers n he hasnt even dropped his album. he’s talented as fuck listen to the warning shots cd

  • http://www.myspace.com/anti07 ANTI

    Wuts poppin Everyone Check out the New single Keith murray Feat ANTI the song is called Red Light Green Light.. Kay slay is puttin it in rotation on his show startin thursday night (12@am-2am) check out more ANTI Exclusive records At http://www.myspace.com/anti07
    Lets get it poppin

  • sousthside Atl dopeboi

    fuck saigon pap is cool fuck tru life when i get in the game ima shoot dem 2 bytch made hatin ass niggaz ima show dem why we called da dirty sout and any of u fake blood and crip ny niggaz want beef ima shit on all yall like pac did

  • http://www.myspace.com/belizeanbway Belize

    He got next

  • BjornLee

    Saigon once again comes with another classic mixtape flexing his intellectual muscle. Love this shit…

  • http://xxlmag.com bo

    saigon has to be the truth this cd deserved an xl and not a xxl becouse too many skits and some of the songs were only one minute and a coupe of seconds long and that effects how a cd is rated but other than that this cd is great im just waiting on the cd like everyone else

  • thecoolguy

    i like saigon but hes gotta step his game up that new single of his is gettin less buzz than youngbucks and hot rods singles

  • IRON SON

    SAIGON THE MUTHAFUCKIN TRUTH!
    LISTEN THE FUCK UP!
    AINT HEARD A NY DUDE THAT COMPLETE SINCE B.I.G. GONE. PERIOD!

  • thecoolguy

    iron son ur such a dickrider

  • knock a bitch brainless

    The only nigga worth listening to from New york.

  • Ali

    See how little there’s been this 1st quarter XXL had to review a mixtape from atleast 4 months ago. Is good shit though i bump it once a week, now give us the album Sai!!

  • flyboy403

    i pop a pussy person for purpossly perpatrating
    point the pistol and pull it theis punk is impersonating
    nuff said saigon papoose ny stand up

  • embee

    the song is called R & B (Rap & Bullshit)….what’d you expect from a self proclaimed r & b bullshit song

  • LOL

    sousthside Atl dopeboi is a fag

  • Price Of The South

    When is his album dropping dude can actually rap and has substance in his music.